Could It Be?

Could it be that churches (we as leaders) are chasing after the next fad, and attempting to stay on the cutting edge to such a degree that we are failing to do the basics well?

Could it be that we are so busy attending conferences and reading the latest “how to” book in order to find the next new trend that we have missed God’s purpose for the church we serve?

As I look on my shelf I have…comeback church, transformational church, purpose driven church, transforming church, connecting church, new kind of church, essential church, simple church, total church life, comeback church, organic church, and on and on.

If new books were the key we would have won the country to Christ 30 years ago. I have nothing against books that help us see what God is doing in a particular context or that really probe our thinking but is the future of your church in the next new book?

A few questions…

  • Should the church mimic the culture in order to reach the people in the culture? In other words do we change music style, dress, and even the architecture of our buildings in order to be more seeker friendly? Is that the key?
  • Do we find another pattern, strategy, methodology from a highly successful church and simply transpose (or impose) that strategy upon our congregation?
  • Do we really believe that the Holy Spirit could lead our church on a new path and direction that is different than any other church in our city for His glory?
  • Is God blessing only one particular style of worship or ministry or model or preaching style or congregational setting?

There are no silver bullets to growing a healthy church. There are many bullets that could be aimed at you if you ask the right questions.

I have served churches that averaged 60 in worship to 2,800 in worship. Like many of you I have attended my share of conferences and seminars. I have all the notebooks on my shelf as evidence. Again I am not anti conferences but there has to be more.

I think many churches are not even asking the right questions.

  1. Is your church seeking God’s specific will for your future?
  2. Is prayer the main way your church and church leaders hear the voice of God or does it have to come through the latest trendy book?
  3. Are you attempting to fulfill the Great Commission? Being a true great commission church should be our aim. Two parts-Evangelism and discipleship. We must win the lost and disciple the saved so that we can win the lost and disciple the saved so that…

Bill Hull writes about a change in his ministry direction several years ago. He shared with his congregation that the Great Commission is more about depth than strategy, and being spiritually transformed is the primary and exclusive work of the church…believing the right things is not enough—being a Christian means actually following Jesus. We don’t drift into discipleship or amble our way half-heartedly down the path of obedience. It is a choice.

He went on to say this,

When I changed from a strategist to a shepherd, when my teaching was filled with love rather than data, the congregation began to melt. They sensed that something prophetic was happening, and it changed our church.

Could it be that we as pastors have ceased being pastors (shepherds) and feeding the flock from the Word because we are now strategists in church growth, CEO’s seeking to lead a spiritual organism with a business model?

Could it be that we have forgotten who founded and ultimately blesses and grows the church?

We need to remind ourselves of the truth of Matt 16:18 where the Owner of the church said, “And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”

Could it be we are seeking to build the church on the wrong rock?

Make no mistake; Jesus is capable of building His church. Sometimes we need to just get out of the way and allow Him to lead.

Keep the Son in Your Eyes,

Mike James

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