Challenged by “Lasting Impact“.
The world is changing…and so is the church.
For decades, the traditional, institutional-design of church has been the main-stay. Sunday Schools, Vacation Bible Schools, Prayer Meetings and a variety of committees have been focal points of weekly church-life.
Structure has been so important, for so many years.
Over the past decade, there’s been a shift happening. We’re hearing words like groups, gatherings and environments. The experience of church is becoming increasingly more important than the structure.
How do we respond?
Pastor and author, Carey Nieuwhof has some answers, found in his book, “Lasting Impact: 7 Conversations That Will Help Your Church Grow“. In chapter 1, “Why Are We Not Growing Faster?“, Carey outlines “Ten Reasons Your Church Isn’t Growing“.
- Click HERE to buy Carey’s book and read the full list of ten.
Out of this top-ten list, two reasons resonated with me. They led me to ask two difficult questions, as a pastor who’s in the process of revitalizing a traditional church, with a 70-year history.
1. Are we more in love with the past than we are with the future?
- Lasting Impact, Ch. 1, Reason 2: “You’re more in love with the past than you are with the future.“
Many pastors have heard the arguments. “If we just started a bus ministry again, we’d reach people! This year’s VBS will be different! You’ll see; God will provide!”
Who are we trying to convince?
The thought process is to look to the past, and champion what worked, trying to replicate it. But we neglect that the early church never had bus ministries or VBS. And yet, the Gospel spread!
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time to look to the future and change things up.
2. Are we afraid to risk what is for the sake of what might be?
- Lasting Impact, Ch. 1, Reason 6: “You’re afraid to risk what is for the sake of what might be.“
Maybe we’ve let go of the past, but our present reality is still too precious to let go of.
This often comes down to program and structure items. That committee we resurrect every year, struggling to find members for because it has no real missional purpose. And yet, we’re all terrified to kill it!
Or perhaps, that ministry that hasn’t seen significant progress in years. We keep spinning our wheels with it…for some reason that no-one can identify. Again, we’re terrified to kill it and refocus our efforts.
Measuring success of a certain ministry should be a constant. Every Ministry Leader should be able to point to the mission and vision of their church, and easily state how and why their ministry aids that overall mission and vision.
There are many more questions to ask.
I really encourage you to visit LastingImpactBook.com and purchase Carey’s book. It will challenge your view of church. And it might even bring up some fears and insecurities that you didn’t know existed.
But it’s good for us.
I firmly believe that the thoughts and feelings, questions and ideas, that spring from Carey’s book, will have an incredible Kingdom impact.
Join the Conversation, Leave Your Thoughts
What questions do we need to ask, to bring the Western church back into Gospel-focus?