BY STEVE DUNN
Has your church ever experienced a season when the ministry was hitting on all cylinders? People were involved and excited. “God stories” were on everyone’s lips? One success led to another and God was was being glorified in a powerful ways?
All of us have had such an experience “once” but more often than not those days seem to fade. Distractions set in. People step back from commitments. There’s a lot of talk about a”glorious” past. People see things to critique instead of celebrate.
Ministry seems to be falling into a rut and carrying it out seems to be more servitude than servanthood. The momentum of fruitfulness has slowed.
Merriam Webster defines momentum as
“the strength or force that something has when it is moving. : the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes.”
Churches need to be build into their operational DNA some values that help maintain the momentum of a church that is bearing fruit it powerful ways:
1. Do not stop walking by faith. It takes faith to launch out onto the deep following the leading of the Spirit. Initially it is our awareness of our calling of the Lord and belief that He can do what we find impossible that allows us to step out of the boat. But the daily problems, the tendency to become fixated on the little things, the desire to regain some sense of control that cause us to start seeing the waves around us and wanting to focus on managing the mission instead of following the Lord of the Vision.
2. Celebrate what God has done–but make sure that we are focusing on what God is NOW doing. If our God stories have to come from experiences six months ago, it should be a warning that we need to get back to expecting God to be at work now.
3. Allow people to work by their gifts and passions. People who work by these elements of their God-given shape are self-motivated (or better, Spirit-motivated) do so out of a sense of servanthood instead of the servitude that so often accompanies the focus on managing what has been done in the past.
4. Be a church that unleashes extending grace to those who are living out the vision, and not be so concerned about permission-giving before anything happens.
What would you add to this list?
(C) 2013 by Stephen L Dunn