My husband and I have been in ministry most of our lives. I am a pastor’s kid and I married a pastor. Some might call that a gluten for punishment, I call it an amazing life. My husband has been the Senior Pastor of our congregation for over 9 years now. Through that time, we have definitely had some ups, downs, transitions, sadness and joy in the ministry. However, the most amazing thing that has come from shepherding a congregation is what we have learned about the heart of God, ourselves and people in general.
Recently we have been involved in some training that has rocked our ministry world. For so long, “The Church” has functioned under the idea that people really want to come to it. If we build a nice enough facility, have the right programs, start right on time, use the perfect version of the Bible, have an amazing power couple leading the group, have the right kind of music, lots of really cool stuff for the kids, then people will come. We just have to provide the right environment and traditions and they will walk right through our doors and have a life changing experience. That’s how we operated our church for so long. We prayed week after week, God send us people to minister to and help us know exactly what you would have us to do as a church to make a difference in people’s lives. Give us fresh ideas. Week, after, week we would come home discouraged because few were there, we had no visitor’s, or no one came to the altar. We were burdened because we knew something was missing and all of our efforts was not getting it done.
Then steps in the Missional approach to ministry. I remember sitting there listening to the conference leader speak. I remember feeling like a huge wind had come through the building, blew my hair back and my mind was spinning and about to explode with my new found knowledge. I remember thinking in that moment, “Oh my goodness, we have been doing this all wrong!”
So now that I have you intrigued, what is the Missional Approach to ministry and life. It’s simple – people have a innate need for community, belonging, loving and friendship. When you open yourself up, tear down your walls and get to know people, let them into your lives – that’s Missional. Be Jesus to people! Don’t expect someone to come to church just because you invite them. You have to earn that right to invite them by investing in them first. That is exactly what Jesus did. He met needs then He led them to the Father. We have to forget this idea that if we build it they will come, because that just doesn’t work. Instead, we need to focus on building relationships and then, they truly will come.
I want to invite you on this journey with my family and our congregation. Every Monday, I am going to write about living a life on purpose for Christ. When we do that, we will see lives changed, including our own, and churches full. I can’t wait to see who God brings into your life in the weeks to come as we live intentionally for Him.
If you love this idea and want to learn more, feel free to check out my church, LifePoint Community Church. Also, the book Missional Quest by Lance Ford and Brad Brisco is an excellent resource to get you started.
The Missional Quest: Becoming a Church of the Long Run
Looking for additional reading resources? Check out Missional LIving.
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