I heard it again just a week ago.
And I bet I’ve heard it nearly a thousand times.
“The search committee,” the pastor began, “said they really wanted the church to grow. Now I am leading them to do some things to reach people, and those same people are out to get me.”
I realize this approach isn’t always easy to do (and in some parts of the world, it’s not the best one), but I’ve changed my approach to most of my evangelism. I still most often try to evangelize in the context of relationships, and I do think relationships provide credibility to evangelize. In the past, though, I typically tried to find open doors or create “bridges” to share the gospel – and it increasingly felt like I was trying to sneak in a side door. Sometimes I caught myself not listening well because I was looking for that door.
Clint Clifton, Send City Missionary for Washington D.C. and Baltimore, explains how planters can create a culture of kingdom-minded multiplication in the life of their church plant.
Ed Litton joins Pastor Talk host Marty Duren to discuss how to lead an established church through transition.
Noah Oldham, Send City Missionary for St. Louis, explains the essential components churches need to infuse DNA when multiplying.
I realize there are usually many factors that lead to a lack of church growth. I’m also deeply committed to using this site to affirm and encourage church leaders. At the same time, though, I recognize that some leaders allow bad thinking to become a barrier to growth. See if any of these ideas reflects your thinking:
Each passing week, more churches in North America are waking up to a new world they were previously unaware of, and realizing the need for revitalization—the need to “breathe new life” into their church. Those who don’t wake up will eventually die, as we are seeing happen in increasing numbers.
Craig Strickland planted Hope Church—the largest white Presbyterian congregation in America with about 6,600 weekly attendees—back before church planting was cool.
He had been working at Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis, watching “people from the Baptist church leaving to join the Presbyterian church, where people were leaving to join the Methodist church. We weren’t putting any new fish in the bowl.”
Three years ago, I met an Iranian scientist with an incredible brain and a stunning story: He had met Jesus through the disillusionment of the Islamic revolution and the music of J. S. Bach.
In Iran my friend had witnessed the full force of religious coercion, and he’d hated it. He’d converted to a new faith partly as a reaction against that force. He knew religious coercion is wrong, but now a Christian, he was wrestling with this question: Is it wrong to try to persuade someone to change his beliefs?
No one is running around our church, setting up activities today.
Even though it’s October 31 as I write this, we’re not decorating our cars, prepping games in our classrooms, or cooking food in our kitchen.
Because this year, for the first time in many years, we’re not doing a Trunk-Or-Treat Halloween alternative. And we’re doing better ministry to children because of it.