The soul task of the church is to invite people to meet Jesus and equip those people to invite others.
This requires two things from both pastors and congregations:
- a sure call
- hard work
A sure calling…
Do you believe the church should grow? Are you confident in your calling to offer Christ, proclaim the Gospel, invite others and grow the church? The Great Commission is filled with verbs. Action is needed, but it must be preceded by a sure calling. A pastor or church leader is not there to confirm apathy, but to equip for ministry.
Hear your calling clearly.
You are not a fisherman if you don’t catch any fish. You may love boats, you may love the water, you may love nature, but you can’t call yourself a fisherman if you don’t catch fish.
Too many churches haven’t had a single convert in years. Mainline denominations are sinking and far too many have become content with decline. It should not become natural to close churches.
I recently reread a book called New Life For Dying Churches by Rose Sims. She told the story of tourist who became lost in the Mojave Desert. Parched and exhausted, he comes upon an old fashioned pump. Tied to the handle of the pump is a whisky bottle full of water. He tried the pump and it doesn’t work at all. He’s about to drink the water from the bottle, when he sees this note: “I know you’re thirsty and want to drink this water, but don’t! Carefully pour the water into the pump and then pump like crazy and water will come out! If you drink up this little bit now, you will die for sure. And don’t forget to refill this bottle for the next guy.”
The big temptation is to use up the little bit left without priming the pump. Have we come to a point where it seems the church has lost the crystal clear focus. We must be sure of our calling.
The second ingredient is hard work.
Leading a growing church isn’t easy, it takes time, thought and energy. With a crystal clear focus and a massive trust in Jesus, you begin to invite people and lead your congregation in opportunities to do the same.
Work hard to connect with the community and develop your people.
Romans 12:11- Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Hard work isn’t an enemy. It’s the key behind churches that grow and succeed in their mission. Leaders and church members have busy lives with chores, work, and other obligations. It’s the drive and sacrifice to add to life’s schedule with a dream for your church to be effective. We work hard, pray hard, give big and invest much. Hard work is the effort poured in after all the basic stuff is finished up. It’s going over the top to do all we can to move the mission forward.
Two things – a sure call and hard work. Stick with it!
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