Fill in the following blanks:
“If only my church would _______ it would be the best church ever!” “If our church did ____________ like Brother _______’s church then our church would be great, too.” “Their church does ______. I wish our church did that.”
Keep your answers in the back of your mind for a moment.
It’s time for a paradigm shift. (Thank you Stephen Covey for that term)
What is stopping you from fulfilling that first answer? If you think your church would be better if it were bigger, then why not go win a soul? If you think your church would be better if the building was nicer, what’s stopping you from cleaning it up, decorating it, or helping fix repairs? If you wish your youth group was bigger, do you invite your friends? And are you friendly to guests when they come or do you sit back and stare?
II Kings 22 says, “In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the Lord. He said: “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the Lord…” (NIV)
If 18 year-old Josiah could rally people together to make the House of the Lord what it ought to be, what’s stopping us?
“But Josiah was a king.”
Are we not children of THE King? Princes and Princesses?
That second statement: The church down the road has it goin’ on. Better than us.
God’s plan for that church may not be God’s plan for your church. They may have an outstanding Signing Ministry, but they have a group of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in their church. Yours does not. However, your church is bursting at the seams with children–and you guys have a pretty awesome puppet ministy. Why are your eyes on their specific ministry when you could be focused on the strength God has given your church?
“But we’ve had deaf and hard-of-hearing people at our church and we still have no signing ministry.”
Does anyone in your church sign? No? Then why haven’t you started learning ASL so you can minister to those individuals when they come?
Statement Three: “Their entire church shows up for mid-week service.” “Their church doesn’t believe in eating bananas on Thursdays before noon.” “Their church has a bus ministry and brings lots of people to church.”
We have got to lose the idea that the church down the road is better. It’s a great church but remember that if the grass is greener there’s a lot more manure there, too. (Not to say the church down the road is full of poo–I’m saying that their church looks perfect but their people are likely looking at other churches and thinking that they have better programs too!)
Josiah rallied people together for a cause. Encourage people to participate in what you are wanting to see! Want people to pray before service? Be the first to the altar or prayer room. Want the entire church to be there on Wednesday night? How about calling those who didn’t show up and tell them you missed them and hope to see them next week. Wish your pastor preached against eating yellow fruit on random weekday mornings? Sorry, can’t help you there. Want a bus ministry? Start by offering to pick up people who don’t have cars.
In other words…the answers you put in those blanks? The first things that popped into your mind? Get to work.
You are a part of the church–you are just as responsible for making things happen as anyone else. We can’t sit back and expect the pastor, youth leaders, elders, etc. to do all the work. WE are the church. Every person ought to genuinely believe that their church is the best. That their pastor is the best. That doesn’t mean the other churches are less important or valuable, but it means that God has picked the church that is perfect for you.
“But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.” -I Corinthians 12:18
Get out there and make your church the best.