Saturday, February 23, 2008

no more, no less

There are lots of frustrating points in church planting, not the least of which is hitting a point that is tough to break through. While it seems fairly common for church plants to get 'stuck' at the 40-ish member point (where we currently are), it doesn't make it feel any less aggravating. We've gone over and over the reasons why we're seemingly stuck, what it will take to press through to the next level, what we could/should/would do different, etc. It seems like it would be so easy to compromise some things, jump on the bandwagon of great programs, or throw our energies into the next 'big idea' in an effort to bring about growth. But it would not be the kind of growth we really want. In seeking God for how to proceed in regards to the life of our church, the main things we keep coming back to are these:
  1. Pray, pray and pray some more - we only want to do what we hear God saying to do...everything else is a big waste of time...and time is something we have none to spare!
  2. Discipleship - real, down-and-dirty learning together to actually live what God's Word says. It can be hard; people don't always want to hear it. But we are committed to it, and need to keep working to cultivate it.
  3. We need to have a heart for the lost - and keep on asking God to create that in us to a greater degree. We are no where near where we want to be on the evangelism front, but it's also not something we can just 'muster up'. But until we burn with passion to see people encounter Jesus personally, we must keep asking God to change our hearts - to let us see people the way He sees them.
Sounds simple, right? Not entirely. For one thing, some of this is a big change for some people from how they are used to operating. There are tons of Christians in churches right now who have been able to go years without having to really get serious about prayer or get real with their 'stuff' in order to grow in their relationship with Jesus. It's time to break out of that.

Randall Neighbour really says it well in the tag line of his blog "The Naked Truth About Small Group Ministry":

I don't give a crap who's bringing snacks next week. Why are we still sharing the same struggles we had last year? Why aren't there any gold-plated heathen here tonight? We have damned ourselves to spiritual mediocrity! We must embrace a completely new way of doing church in small groups.
Somehow, we must stay steadfast in the identity God has given us for our particular part of the Body of Christ. It can be a struggle, especially for a people-pleaser like me. I can be easily manipulated sometimes, thinking we (or I) have to come up with the answer, the program, the accomodation for every problem, request or complaint I hear. I think God (through friends and other leaders) is working on breaking me of that. But God repeatedly says to me "Do what I say - no more, no less."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i will be praying. Jimmy DeWan