Archives For change

Many times churches get this idea that being busy and starting more things is the same as being a success.  It is easy to think that the more ministries you start, the better the church must be doing.  But here is the deal, more things going on is NOT the goal.  The goal should be to see lives changed.  You could be a church of 50 or 500, and have 25 different ministries, but if it is not producing life change in people, you are not being effective or successful.  Here are a few more thoughts:

  • If the ministries you are doing now are not producing any life change in people, you need to get rid of it.
  • If starting a new ministry means another job for an already stressed out, overloaded staff member, you probably do not need it.
  • If your idea of growth is doing something else, and not spiritual maturity in people, you likely do not need to do anything else.
  • If you think that keeping your people busy is more important than letting them get out into the world to make a difference and have influence, you do not need another ministry.
  • If you have to get up and beg people to attend a ministry event every time you have it, you do not need it because it must not be producing life change in people, or they would come.
  • If you have to guilt people into doing something, you do not need to do it.  It obviously is not an effective means to life change for your people.
  • Just because the church down the street does it, does not mean you need to do it.
  • Just because you have always done it, does not mean you should still be doing it.

So, what are your thoughts?  Do you think less is more or more is more?

Divine Detour

Jason Petermann  —  January 19, 2010 — 1 Comment

Ok, I promise, this is the last post on Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase.  God is just so good to encourage and motivate with the right words at the right time in your journey, and this was too good not to post.  Hopefully is can be an encouragement to someone else as it was to me…

“Tired of divine delays?  Feel like your life is a divine detour?  Let me remind you of three things: (1) The longer you have to wait, the more you will appreciate; (2) sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is hang in there; and (3) a sense of humor can get you through just about anything.  And one more thing, no matter how crazy the Wild Goose chase gets, don’t forget to enjoy the journey!”

Sure, it is hard to enjoy every aspect of the journey.  There are times when you will feel mistreated, unloved and taken advantage of.  But here is the deal, it is in those times, the times that are tough, that we are able to grow closer to God.  The detour that has appeared in your life is not a surprise to God.  He has already been there, ahead of you, to plan everything as He wants.  We just need to change our perspective, and look at it as a divine detour that will ultimately lead us to be who God wants us to be.

Ok, I have 2-3 three more posts this week on things that struck a chord with me from Mark Batterson’s Book, “Wild Goose Chase,” and then I will be done.

“We need people who are more afraid of missing opportunities than making mistakes.  People who are more afraid of lifelong regrets than temporary failure.  People who dare to dream the unthinkable and attempt the impossible.”

I know this is where I want to live.  Not that I want to fail or make mistakes, but I do not want to sit by and do nothing just because I am afraid of temporary discomfort or embarrassment from failing.  I think this is why many churches fail to grow, and why many Christians are unhappy.

It is easy to play it safe when things are going good.  After all, who wants to mess up a good thing by making changes?  But here is the deal, if you are not constantly changing, you are not growing.  If you are not dreaming, then you have no vision.  If you are reaching into the past for what to do in the future, you are grasping at straws.  We need more Christians and churches with guts.  Guts to attempt BIG things for God.  Guts to do the things that no one else is doing.  Guts to “dream the unthinkable and attempt the impossible.”

I am praying for guts… what about you?

Continuing on with some quotes from Mark Batterson’s Wild Goose Chase:
I am going to use two quotes here this morning.  The first is from Mark as he writes,

“…God seems to be far less concerned with where I am going than with who I’m becoming.  I think some of us want to know the will of God more than we want to know God.”

It is not easy to focus more on the process than it is the destination. Dreams, goals and vision that God gives you are certainly good to have, but God is more concerned with who you are becoming than He is in your achieving anything.  It is not easy for me to write that, because I do want to know what the end result of my journey is gong to be.  I want to know where I will end up, and when I will get there.  And yes, God is interested in that as well, but if I get to the end and have learned nothing about God in the process, what have I really gained?  Nothing!  The journey is where we get to know God.  It is where He works and shows Himself strong.

Mark then quotes Oswald Chambers:

“The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident.  What we call the process, God calls the end.  His purpose is that I depend in Him and on His power now.  It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God.”

Wow.  Just read that and let it sink in a bit.  We think that the goal achieved, the desire accomplished, the status attained is what it is all about. Really, it is about how we get there, and how our relationship with God grows in the process.

So, what are you concerned with?  Going… or Becoming?

I am reading Mark Batterson’s book, “Wild Goose Chase” and have come to several places in the book that have challenged me.  I am going to share a few of those this week.  The first one is actually a quote that he uses from A.W. Tozer in his book, “The Knowledge of the Holy.”  Tozer says, that when we make God in our own image, we are left with a God Who

“…can never surprise us, never overwhelm us, nor astonish us, nor transcend us.”

Basically, we are left with a God that we can keep in a box.  And we like it that way.  It keeps us comfortable.  The problem is, when we keep God in that box, we never get to see Him do the miraculous.  We never get to see Him move on our behalf in a way that can only be explained by saying it was God.  Many Christians and many churches live in this state all the time.  They do not want a God that surprises, overwhelms, astonishes or transcends.  It scares them to lose control… to lose control to God!

I pray that God will move out of the box that I set up for Him.  I want to be surprised by Him.  I want to wake up each morning thinking to myself, “Ok God, what are you up to today.”  That might make you uncomfortable.  If it does, maybe it is time to let God out of the box you have Him in and allow Him to be the God that you say you believe in.