Perhaps you’re wondering why some churches grow and others do not. The more I consult and coach the more I realize that the answer isn’t so much what churches do. It’s why churches do what they do. Churches grow because they have a deep-seated love for people who don’t know Jesus. And that kind of love can’t be taught. It must be caught.
What does love for people who don’t know Jesus look like in a church or small group?
- Your members will put people who don’t know Jesus before their own needs. This alone would remove all church conflicts and result in a loving, caring congregation.
- Your members will get over their consumer mindset. Members will begin serving on behalf of those who don’t know Jesus because that is what love does. They won’t expect the pastor to take care of them. They will expect the Pastor to train them to be able to help God transform people.
- Your members will begin praying for people who don’t know Jesus. Their burden for people who don’t know Jesus will be so great that prayer for them becomes routine. They will begin sharing their faith with their networks.
- Your leaders will regularly cast the vision of love for those who don’t know Jesus. This vision casting is not now and then. It is part of the fabric of the leadership.
- Your leaders will constantly ask themselves, “If we do this, will it result in reaching more people who don’t know Jesus?” If the event or program doesn’t reach those who don’t know Jesus, the event or program is dropped.
Is this the way your church functions? If not, then maybe it’s time to examine how you are leading and how you are training. Do you have a passion for those who don’t know Jesus? Do you constantly talk and teach about that passion? If not, why not ask for forgiveness and let that love permeate your life?
P.S. If you are a mainline pastor, the odds are you haven’t seen many disciple-making churches that are on fire for lost people. And because of that the above may seem impossible. Well, take it from me, it’s not, not if your heart burns for people far from God.
Question: What have you noticed about people who care deeply for the lost? Share your observations and thoughts in the Comments section below.
Thank you for these insights. Being a mainline pastor I wrestle with this way of being and thinking everyday. I never learned it or “caught” it as you say. It’s like I need a ten-step pastor program to find recovery from being so inward focused and church centered as the years have taught me. Your writings and seminars have help me take a step in the recovery process. Thank you. Keep up the good work. You have become my spiritual “sponsor.”
A very insightful piece. I just thought of sharing that it really made sense on my side. I was once lost, wasn’t leading the life that I would have envisioned, I wasn’t living. There was no sense of direction. One day, a family pastor friend, reached out- just how a good close friend will do- and started to speak about his life, about what his aspirations were and so on, and that’s how he pointed me to a ‘direction’ where being lost in a dark room, and a little light sparked up- he was the one who helped me up. His care for the lost was unconditional. It’s a light feeling of being ‘belonged’ in the group/in life that I am living.
Good on ya. That’s what its all about. bill e