What’s Missing in the Church?
I have been praying lately about what is missing in churches all across America. Many automatically try to say something spiritual like revival or another Great Awakening. However, what most picture revival to be like is far from what it actually is. Most think it’s a few weeks of services where the multitudes come, healings and miracles and salvations take place. I am for that happening. I would dance and shout right along side you. But that isn’t it. There is an element even in revival that if it is missing the move of God eventually dies.
So what is is Pastor Rene? Is it more prayer? Is it more giving? Is it changing our worship style or our sanctuary from pews to chairs? Do we need to dress more comfortable in church? Is what is missing donuts and coffee in the sanctuary? I hear questions like this all the time. Some of these things will happen as we begin to discover what is missing in most churches. Yes, even the donuts and coffee.
What is missing in churches across America is leadership. If we take a moment and study the majority of the churches by laws (which are probably outdated and need review) you can see that most churches operate where the pastor is like a puppet and if he or she doesn’t do what the board likes, the pastor is terminated. Some churches don’t even allow woman in leadership. They don’t even let them preach. God has called called me exhort churches today with this fresh Word from heaven. If you are an elder, a deacon, a board member, a pastor, open your hearts to what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to you today.
If we look at the roles of leaders in the church according to scriptures this is what the Bible says:
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. -Ephesians 4:11-16
Every church should be led by an apostle. Because the word “Pastor” is a word that is thrown around loosely in churches across America, we need to really take a look at the calling of our Pastors and see if that particular Pastor fits more the role of an Apostle. It is the Senior Leaders job to cast vision for the church. The Bible is clear in Proverbs 29:18 that where there is no vision the people perish. Some translations say that where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint. How clear is the vision of your church? What is the purpose statement? I challenge you to ask your Senior Leader what the vision inside is heart is. Is it crystal clear? I am not talking about a brochure they give everyone who visits the church. There has to be more church than just showing up on Sunday mornings. We need visionaries who will lead the church forward. Each visionary needs a team of people who will help him or her implement the vision. These team players should cover the leaders weaknesses. If the leader has a weak administration gift, then he should surround himself with people aren’t.
The Bible calls for elders in the church. Their role is very important. In fact, the Bible even provides a job description for elders:
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This is a trustworthy saying: “If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position.” So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach. He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God’s church. An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall. Also, people outside the church must speak well of him so that he will not be disgraced and fall into the devil’s trap. -1 Timothy 3:1-7
The role of an elder is to support the role of the Senior Leader in the church. Elders and deacons are to be armor bearers to their Leader. A house divided against itself can’t stand. Many elders and deacons need to stop fighting with their Pastors and start working with them. Most churches in America aren’t healthy because there is an elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about. There is too much drama in some churches. The devil uses drama as a distraction to keep the church from fulfilling the Great Commission. We need to stop praying for our problems to go away, and start working through them. If people aren’t changing, don’t be afraid to ask them to leave. One rotten apple spoils the barrel.
I believe when leaders in the church begin to lead, we will see exponential growth. We will see people connected to God’s family. Our churches will be fruitful.
One of the core values at Streams of Life Church is innovation. We are constantly coming up with new ideas and changing things up. Change keeps things fresh. Have you ever heard the famous last words of a dying church? They are “We have never done things like that before.” Feeling stuck in your ministry? Change something significant. Shut something down. Hire someone. Fire someone. Change is good.
Leading an established church is like being a captain of a ship. You can’t change things too quickly because if you turn to quickly some people may fall off the ship. On the flip side, not everyone is going to like the changes you may implement. They will leave anyway. Do yourself a favor and don’t chase them. They left another church and came to yours because they didn’t like something at the previous church. I am very careful with people like that. We have to stop enabling Christian consumers and Church hoppers and shoppers. If you are reading this and you are one, you will never experience the fullness of what God can do through your life until you buckle down and remain faithful to the vision of a local church by doing whatever it takes to making it come to past. Before you can lead your own ministry you have to learn to serve and follow the vision of another leader. How do you expect others to follow the vision for your ministry if that is something you have never done before? We must establish a culture in our churches that we aren’t doing what we are doing for the people who are there. We do what we do for those who are coming. We are more interested in who we are reaching than catering to those who we are keeping.
Being a pastor is a painful. You will suffer because you are making a difference. People will lie on you, start rumors, slander you ect. Just keep loving them. I would worry if you weren’t controversial or the topic of others conversation and people weren’t saying things that weren’t nice or true. Many pastors get caught up comparing themselves to other churches. The truth is, you may see a glamorous finish, but you don’t know the hell they endured to get there. You don’t know the tears that were shed, the hearts that were broken, the lies that were spread. But the leaders remained faithful. Are you really being effective if you aren’t experiencing any resistance? I want to encourage Pastors who may be reading this blog. Don’t be afraid to implement change. Don’t be afraid to lead. Maybe it’s the worship music. It’s not about style. It is about whether or not the people are engaged. Remember that worship isn’t for the people. It is for God. Take a survey. Is your church fun? What kind of atmosphere is present? Are your elders and deacons supporting you as the shoulders of the church or are they trying to be the head causing you a pain in the neck? Maybe you are at a church, and they are treating you like a puppet. Is it time to move on?
Is it time to let go of that staff member who you know isn’t the right fit for your team? Is is time to stop filling volunteer positions based on needs in your church and start finding our where your members are gifted and have the serve where they love and want to serve? Is it time to shut down a ministry that isn’t being fruitful or doesn’t line up with the vision of your church? Can you start valuing people for who they are not what they can do for you or the church? What can you do for them? Are you listening to your wife? Or are you hindering your church by limiting the ideas and feedback to only come from you? Maybe you need to apologize to someone. Maybe you need to apologize to your pastor, your elders, your spouse. Maybe that elephant in the room is pride and you can’t lead your church any further until you repent. Pride is broken on your knees. You keep from becoming prideful by becoming grateful and serving the least of these. Maybe it’s time for a foot washing service.
A leader who doesn’t work on his leadership daily is in big trouble. Especially leaders who lead congregations. You can lead from any role in a church. You don’t have to be a Pastor. You can lead as an elder or a deacon or a board member even as a janitor in the church. No role is insignificant. Someone might get saved in that bathroom. Do everything with excellence. Have a high level of commitment. Cast a clear vision for your church Pastor, and your people will die for it.
A TURNAROUND FOR YOU..
A word by Dana Jarvis
I decree you are making the spiritual journey from the bondage of Egypt into your promised land of destiny. I know you have grown weary. Do not let the murmurings and complaining attitudes rule you. It causes the faith to waiver! Your focus is upon the cup of bitter waters that you are currently drinking from.
Rest assured that your God is making these bitter waters sweet!
You shall taste and see that the Lord is good! You are going to see such extravagance in your daily life. He is delivering much into your hands so reach up and take hold. Just as he was with you before, he is with you now. You are going to drink deep of the Living Waters. The bitter waters of life have tried to steal all joy.
However I hear the Lord say, “It is done, I am the Lord who heals you. I am the Lord who will restore you. I am the Lord who will provide your every need. I am the One that is making the bitter waters sweet!”
I feel so strongly that God is removing your cup of bitter waters you have had to drink for so long. He is causing a turnaround for you in a situation that you desperately need him to move. I am speaking to several and know this word is for you. Even as the Lord led Moses and the children of Israel from their bondage at the Red Sea, it still took one step of faith. One step of faith is all it takes to cause a release from all of this. Take a moment and sow into good ground by giving into Spirit Fuel. For just a contribution of $25, $50, or even $100 or more given into Spirit Fuel is an active step and good ground on which to sow. It is a powerful ministry reaching the world for Christ. As you sow that offering, it is that act of faith that will cause the Red Sea where you are standing to part in your life. The bitter cup will be removed and the sweetness of the Lord shall begin to flow!
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