as i continue to work with churches that seem truly interested in a different future, a future that will take them to places they’ve never been, something i keep saying to them is this.

we’re not going to talk about church growth strategies, ways to become attractive to those not connected to the church.  we’re not going to preach about what’s wrong with the world & the sin in their lives anymore than we talk about that problem in our own lives.  we’re not going to have a 5 year plan on growth & new buildings.  we’re simply going to respond to the prompting that God puts in our hearts.

yes, we’re going to do a lot of work & we’re going to look intentionally into the things that God shows us & we will make changes to the things that we’ve held dear…if that’s what God is asking us to do.

i do think there is a great deal of planning/future thought/strategy when it comes to growing God’s church.  but i’m more & more of the thought…maybe the question —- why?  what’s the motivation?  not weather we should or shouldn’t work to grow God’s church, but why are YOU doing it?

is it so you can have the best programming around?  is it so you can have a new building?  is it so you can look good?

in the process of growth there is always death.  when we make something new there are other things that are sacrificed & lost in the process.

this is something that connects to the cross.  Jesus dies so we can live.

so when we build up something new what are the things that die to make way for the new?  and a bigger question, are we ruining of something that didn’t need to die?

certainly, there are things that time has passed by & need to be retired.  worship that is captured by organ & piano alone, the thought of “putting on your sunday best” for church, the big hair of the ’80’s.  but as we strive for the new, the better, the bigger will we run over things that are meaningful & actually minister to people?  and i’m not just talking about the people that go to your local church.

oh that i would not be so obsessed with my own glory, that i would see the ministry happening right in front of me & may i lead [weather holding a title of leadership or simply leading in the circle of my family, friends & co-workers] in ways that bring life…in the same way that Jesus brought life to everything He touched.

may i not be a builder of empty cathedrals & ruined coliseums…