Your church’s future depends largely on the people who are not yet a part of it.
Many of us grew up learning to memorize answers to questions. Memorized answers to old questions are not serving churches particularly well today. Most of us never learned the art of asking good questions, let alone asking questions. Listening is hard work. That’s probably why most of us don’t do it very well.
Everyone knows post Christendom has landed in America and most churches are choosing not to participate. They miss the wonders. The miracles with the mission. They miss the joy. (The 72 returned with joy… Luke 10:17.)
Maybe they’ve read a book. They think they know. But…they’re still not participating. Congregational coziness is conquering adventure. The slow spiral toward death is allowed to accelerate. Sometimes leaders are complicit!
More times good, godly, courageous leaders face the twin challenges of a community that no longer wakes up on Sunday morning wondering where to go to church and a congregation committed to congregational coziness. The memorized answers for mission don’t work much any more. And…your church’s future IS largely dependent upon the people who aren’t there yet!
Here are three questions (I have Russ Bredholdt to thank) that might help boost your ministry forward. Take them to your next staff or board retreat. Set a few ground rules. Be honest. Eat together before you start.
Listening is hard work.
Nothing much goes anywhere if leaders are not listening and going together in the same direction.
Thanks for being a good, godly, courageous leader! (You don’t get thanked very much for that, do you?) And thanks for helping your ministry lean into what God longs to do in it and through it.
So, would you take a moment to…
- Pray that God stirs “congregational cozies” into champions for the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
- Pray that in community we learn to dare and risk again. And even sacrifice for the sake of God’s mission to redeem a lost and fallen world.
- Pray that God raises up many, many workers for the harvest!
Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken