“I’m tired of training staff only to see them leave to work in another church.” I heard pastors say this a lot when I was consulting. I always wondered what would happen if they didn’t train them and they stayed long term.
“My staff is so competent that I’m afraid some church will steal them away.” I also ran into this sentiment many times during my consulting years.
Now what’s wrong with this picture?
The answer is simple – these statements betray an anti-Kingdom understanding of the gospel. If I’m in the fight for the Kingdom and not just my church then it doesn’t matter who works for what church. We’re all in this together.
Kingdom leaders have a release mentality. They’re not for building their church; they’re for building the Kingdom and the growth of the local church is simple a byproduct. This understanding of the gospel is crucial to the future of Christianity and the growth of your local church. We can’t win the world on our own. We can’t win back the West by guarding our turf. We can’t make disciples of all people groups without a Kingdom mentality.
We must see the future as one big movement in which we all have our part. But the movement must be seen as more important than our individual churches. This understanding is crucial to the future. Let me give you a real case example. I’ve told this story before.
In the early 1990s a colleague and l were consulting with a UMC Conference on church planting. They invited us to research the need for new churches in the conference and make recommendations on how many were needed and where to plant them.
We spent a month researching their request. Our research disclosed their conference had several areas of rapid growth that had one or more very small family type churches that had been in decline for multiple decades in spite of the rapid growth.
So our criteria was to recommend planting a church in those rapid growth areas where all of the churches were very small and barely afloat.
And guess what? The conference leaders turned down every one of our recommendations because they would negatively affect those small, weak and long term declining churches. They didn’t have a Kingdom understanding of the gospel or they would have taken our recommendations. All they could see were those tiny, weak, family churches that had no intention of reaching the rapid growth surrounding them. Is it any wonder that conference continues to decline decade after decade with literally no hope of survival?
Next time you make a strategic decision ask yourself, “Is this for the Kingdom or just our church?” Your future may depend on your answer.