Pastors and churches often find themselves in a predicament. They want their church to grow, they want to see people start following Jesus, marriages saved, people get baptized, use their gifts, but many do not see that happen. What’s worse is when the church down the road sees these things happening, which let’s be honest, simply means they are preaching an easy gospel or at the very least, “watering down the truth.”
Recently, I heard a pastor say, “My church isn’t growing because God isn’t moving.” I heard another church say, “God just isn’t blessing like he used to.” And then they both talked about how hard our culture is towards God, etc.
I’m sorry, but these are simply excuses.
I know, the church down the road has a bigger budget, more staff members, better staff members, cooler music, they have a building, they meet in a school so they don’t have the traditional trappings, they are a church plant, they an established church so people don’t think they are playing church like a church plant.
What pastors and churches uses these excuses for is to push off having to deal with issues as to why a church isn’t healthy or growing.
If people aren’t getting baptized, why not? Is it unclear? If people aren’t taking that first step to follow Jesus, why not? Do you present the gospel each week?
When these thoughts creep into my mind and they do and have. We’ve had weeks at Revolution where I preached to 11 people, our offering was $84, no one responded to anything, we cancelled baptisms and went 6 months without seeing a salvation.
Here are a few questions for pastors, leaders and churches to ask when “God isn’t moving” the way they would like or think he should be:
- Is there any sin I or our leaders or church need to confess?
- When preaching a sermon, are next steps clear?
- Is the gospel clearly presented each week with a call to take that step?
- How clear is the strategy of the church? How clear is the next step for a person from sunday morning?
- How complex and busy is the church? The busier the harder it is to know what is important.
- Are you being the church God called you to be or are you trying to be the church down the road or the one from the conference you just went to?
- How clear and compelling is our vision?
Churches that aren’t healthy and effective often don’t have good answers to these questions. Next time, when your church hits a plateau, instead of giving up or getting jealous about the church down the road, celebrate how God is moving at that church and begin working on why God isn’t working in your heart and church the way you’d like to see him.