Have you ever heard, "We just do this around here" or "we can't do that" or "we don't that for a reason"? I have heard this in churches I have served more than I have heard...."GO FOR IT!"
You don't know how much time I have spent over the years thinking and praying and reading and thinking and praying and reading over how to accomplish spiritual growth, making disciples and multiplying them, and leading the church to be "missional" in all that we do. Many books that other pastors that have written about their success at their church REALLY only works at their church. It's like a chemistry that is put together with community, culture, willingness and with passion. So what works for one, under that pastor and leadership, in that community, may or may not work for another. (I know they are all to work the same, Scripture says so..:))
So here is how it may or may not work: Church has it's identity, country club or open gym, and its makeup is essential to her success. She is the bride of Christ that is supposed to go "make disciples". Disciples are supposed to multiply, what is the deal? And when the leadership wants to lead toward this, "I don't want to do that!" is the answer. (Or many other road blocks) I believe this is the reason many pastor's leave their post to find a church that is willing to DO SOMETHING for the kingdom. Unfortunately, they leave to find that the next church is the same as the one they left.
Vision and Mission of the church can be stated, but if it is not working there is something going on under the rug that is being ignored for years, if not decades. For example, one church I served in had several people who had severed relationships and they would not reconcile to each other. It was obvious to me, but not to them why the church continued to suffer with sickness. Blindness set in and lasted for over 10 years. What is that church doing for the kingdom?? Think about that one!!
Last week, we had 20 children converted/saved as Christ is their Lord and Savior. Most of them have been a part of the Sunday School, Fisher of Kids, and Awana ministry we have at TBC and I believe that it is a direct result of knowing the Gospel and given the chance to respond, God called them unto Him. It was amazing that most of these kids could tell you the Scripture verses about salvation. And it also helped to have a church wide emphasis of prayer for VBS. This is impacting the kingdom of God!! The family ministry we do with their parents and kids is so vital. TRANSFORMING LIVES TO BE FOLLOWERS OF CHRIST!!
We are not perfect all the time or maybe even some of the time at TBC. We have a way to go as far as followers and leaders are concerned. But we must always be thinking about the kingdom and what we are doing to live in it, expand it, and show others what it is. I have been disappointed many times trying to lead in this area and I am trying to make this a matter of prayer and study as we present ourselves to God to use us as His insturments. Let's see what wisdom God gives me on this....hhhhmmmmmm!! Brian