Thanks to so many of you who invested in the multi ethnic learning communities on #GivingTuesday. You can still join in building vibrant communities with wider Gospel influence.
And then, do some Christmas shopping at Heartfelt Giving. Fill out the information for creating your own site and ask your members (they’re already shopping online) to click through your site first and begin building funds for the National Youth Gathering or summer mission trip.
Now, most churches lack the overall leadership capacity to take on their greatest challenges. (You’ve heard me say that before.) Most churches underestimate the importance of investing in leadership development. (You’ve heard me say that before, too.)
So, let me explain:
- Most congregations today are disoriented. They’re slow to respond to the departure of the “it’s a good thing to go to church” world. That shift has changed almost everything for how congregations engage their communities.
- They’re stuck. They go back to old solutions for new problems, even though they no longer work.
- They’re overwhelmed when they realize there usually are no “win/win” solutions to these new problems that will leave everyone happy.
- They masquerade as living out the Mission of God and settle for simply trying to please people.
- They substitute future vision with remembered past.
- They helplessly watch decline accelerate. And a once vibrant congregation atrophies.
Not a pretty picture.
So, I believe that…
- God can and does breathe the fresh wind of the Spirit into the dry bones of any (almost any?) congregation.
- And God can and does do more than we can ask or imagine.
- And it’s incredibly difficult (usually painful by my experience) for any leader to lead any of the myriad of congregations that find themselves on this path of accelerating decline.
The leadership challenge!
Here are a couple of brutal, but honest, facts.
Congregations will only follow leaders on this journey if…
- They know they’re loved by the leader and relationships are healthy.
- They trust the character of the leader.
- They respect the demonstrated competency of the leader especially in handling the Word of God, leading the congregation.
So why don’t you…
- Select two bullets above where you’re doing well and congratulate yourself. It’s not easy!
- Pick out two bullets that are hamstringing you and/or your congregation.
- Pick out one bullet that merits action on your part and share it with some of your other leaders.
And don’t forget to look at Heartfelt Giving and request more information for setting up your site for building funds for the youth gathering or mission trip.
Rev. Dr. Jock Ficken