We can’t just disciple potential young leaders, we have to release them. Then we have stand back and let them do ministry the way God is leading them to do it.
Pastors who try to do everything will burn themselves out, while reinforcing the false idea that church members are meant to be passive consumers of a religious product. So we swing the pendulum and delegate. But that doesn’t work unless we do something else first. Equip them to do the task before we delegate it …
Written by Jeff Hamilton | Hills Church, Laguna Niguel CA (hillschurchoc.com) As pastors, our primary job is making disciples (Ephesians 4:11-12). And in the Great Commission, Jesus told us that “teaching them” is one way to do that. So the time we have behind the pulpit is the most consistent tool we have to inform, …
As pastors, we have a solemn obligation to equip church members to do ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12). Instead, too many pastors burn out because the pastor and the church members expect the pastor to do most or all of the ministry for them. Making the transition from the doer of ministry to the equipper of ministers …
Pastors want bigger churches.
Church members? Not so much.
Sure, a lot of people go to big churches. That’s what makes them big, after all. And the majority of them are strong, healthy churches doing great ministry. But if you ask the average member why they attend, “because it’s big” won’t even crack the top ten.
And non-attenders? Quite frankly, the default is to distrust any church they deem as “too big.”
Is that too simplistic a way of viewing the church? Of course. Every one of us can point to many exceptions to each of those rules. But those exceptions are… exceptional.
It’s only pastors who say “you know what the problem is with that church? It’s not big enough.”
Because I minister in and to small churches, I’m often asked, “aren’t you worried, that by supporting small churches you’ll be encouraging churches that could grow, to stay small instead?”
Yes. That is a concern. One that I’ve addressed in Small Church Essentials, and in several posts including, Small Churches Are Not a Problem, a Virtue or an Excuse.
But I also have a question of my own. One that’s almost never considered. Namely, “aren’t you worried, that by supporting individual congregational growth, you’ll be encouraging churches that should stay small, to get bigger instead?”
That question is so foreign to us it almost feels wrong to ask, doesn’t it?
Churches have to do more ministry with less money.
That’s becoming truer with every passing year, and it will increase for at least another generation.
For example, 15 years ago, the church I serve was smaller and less healthy than it is right now. By every indication of growth, health and effective ministry, we are doing better today. Except in one way. It’s harder to pay the bills now than it was then.
Some of that is because the average age of our church members has dropped, and younger people have less money to give. But mostly, it’s because that’s the trend in churches across the board.
So, how do we fix this trend so we can keep doing all the ministry we need to do?
Do we hire a firm to help us raise funds? Preach more about discipleship? Do more fundraising? More bake sales? Sell property?
No. The absolute best way to solve our church’s financial problems is so simple, so biblical, it almost seems redundant to state it.
A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post, Hey, Boomers! Let’s Step Up And Be The Elders The Church Desperately Needs Right Now, which received a lot of feedback – most of it very encouraging.
But there was some pushback as well. All of the criticism expressed the same viewpoint: today’s youth may need to have elders in their lives, but it’s impossible to find any who are truly willing to be discipled.
So why is there such a difference between my experience and those ones? And what can we do to find teachable youth?
I think it comes down to three primary factors, all of which have more to do with how we, as elders, approach our role than how the youth behave or how they feel.