Monday, May 11, 2009


Yesterday I presented the three steps in Our Plan to carry out His Purpose. (See diagram below) In the middle of the lesson I made a statement that I didn't have time to elaborate on, but which took a lot of years to figure out. I said, "Church growth is not about PR but about developing a passion for Jesus." When people have a passion for Jesus they SENSE his presence, they SERVE him gladly, and they SHARE him naturally. The problem we've always had is that we ask for and expect actions and results from people who haven't developed a personal relationship with Jesus (i.e. a passion for Jesus) and then cry and moan about our declining numbers or our stale plateaus. Just look at the three steps below and ask yourself at which step will people feel compelled to act and speak for Jesus. Only when people care deeply and become committed will they make the Lord and his church a top priority in their life. These steps just simply clarify that growing is a progressive effort and it helps us identify where we are and where we need to go.
I just remember all those years of trying to come up with the right idea, plan, ad, organization, or event that would attract our community to seek what we had to offer. I just knew that if I could come up with the right package, the church would grow, we'd succeed, and our method would be the envy of every other church in the country. We'd be another Willow Creek or Saddleback, my elders would be in awe of me, and the Brotherhood would make pilgrimages to us to seek out our wisdom and our plan.
Okay, that's a little overstating of things, but it saddens me that it took me so long to understand that my job as a spiritual leader - every leaders job - is to help people develop a deeper relationship with Jesus - one person at a time. Seeing brothers and sisters join the company of the committed is a beautiful thing. It may not be as notable or newsworthy as having discovered the magic formula for becoming a mega-church, but it's why God put us here. The three steps allow us to know where we are and where we need to go - as individuals, and where leaders need to be leading people. It takes mentoring and guiding out of the theoretical and into the practical - the real. Maybe most important of all, at least from my perspective as a minister, I can't guide people to places I haven't been. Like Paul, not that I've arrived, but I press on and I want to help as many as possible go with me.

1 comment:

Deborah said...

Grest, great, GREAT blog post, Dad! I wish every employed minister in the country could read this.