It seems in our post-Christian culture that the courage (or perhaps even willingness) to share our faith is becoming rare. Why is that? Why is sharing our faith so challenging for most people? I suspect the answer is “sharing your faith”or “evangelizing people” are such a nebulous phrases. What does it mean? When do you do it? What do you say? How do we teach people how to do it? How do we normalize it?
We know we want our churches to be healthy and experience growth. Sustained growth means we are consistently reaching new hearts for Christ! But with roughly 80% of US churches experiencing decline, what is keeping our churches from growing?
While many of us would agree that prayer is an essential part of the believer’s life sadly it’s usually not the first place we turn when we experience hardship. It’s our nature to turn to someone or something tangible I think when stuff hits the fan…we are more inclined to talk with a spouse, friend or mentor. Why?
If you were to ask ten people in your congregation what your churches vision is what would they say? How about ten random people in the community? I always loved Andy Stanley’s definition of vision:
“Vision is a mental picture of what could be, fueled by a passion that it should be.”
Perhaps more than ever there are people analyzing the health of the Christian Church in real time.
Our culture continues to change at a rapid rate. The minute we think we have understood a cultural shift and adjusted our approach we recognize it has changed yet again. The effectiveness of your church is influenced greatly by your understanding of the culture which God has placed your church in.
For many churches the natural path seems to be to add new ministries and initiatives each year with little consideration on the impact on the church as a whole. We need to stop and ask ourselves some questions before adding new programs, such as "How will these new ministries managed?" and "Will the leaders of our church have enough energy for the new ministries to be successful?"
Often this time of year it’s hard to see past the holidays. The journey from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years often feels like a blur with its flurry of activity.
If you've been around the church any amount of time you've probably seen this play out: A leader casts a vision for an event, or a ministry or a season, and before he finishes exhaling the room starts splitting in half. Some (hopefully most!) people are on board, but there are others who resent the idea and either grumble and complain, or leave the organization.
If you’re in leadership, you’ve probably said, heard or read the church vision or mission statements more times than you can count. At some point, it starts sounding boring to you.