Objections to the Christian Faith from the Unchurched and De-Churched
Tue Dec 02, 2014
Craig Groeschel: We Innovate for Jesus
Tue Oct 14, 2014
Mark Driscoll: Revelation
Tue Oct 07, 2014
RESURGENCE LEADERSHIP #034: JOHN PIPER, WHY I TRUST THE SCRIPTURES, PART 2
Tue Sep 30, 2014
Resurgence Leadership #033: John Piper, Why I Trust the Scriptures, Part 1
Tue Sep 23, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 7: Inviting People to Join the Mission
It’s your responsibility as the pastor to connect the mission dots for people. Help them go from the big picture of mission to their personal lives and see how they can participate in God’s mission.
There is a myth many pastors believe: “If I ask too much of God’s people, they will leave the church.” This is simply not true for the majority of Christians. The problem isn’t that pastors ask too much of God’s people. The problem is that the pastor asks too little.
Most Christians, especially younger Christians, want to participate in the mission of God. They simply don’t know what to do. They need to be invited to contribute to the mission.
Invite people to contribute
It’s a pastor’s responsibility to connect the mission dots for people so they can go from the big picture of mission to their personal lives and see how they can participate in God’s mission.
What are the next steps you want the people attending your church to take? Should they get in a small group? Should they fill out a connect card? Should they talk to someone after service? How can the average attender in your church practically help replant your church? The answer to this question needs to be simple, clear, and repeatedly communicated. People have to hear the same invitation several times before they will respond.
Define the “win”
You would never train for football and then take the field to play golf. If you are going to play a team sport, you need to know what game you are playing. This empowers you to understand the rules and strategies of the game so you can work together as a team to get points on the board and win.
As with sports, God’s people need clarity for mission. They need church leadership to define what the “win” is for replanting the church. They need to know what team they are on, what role they play on the team, and what the expectation is for their part on the team. And they need to understand how to get points on the board.
Most Christians, especially younger Christians, want to participate in the mission of God.
Remember, you’ve done an assessment of your church at this point, so you should be able to answer the question, “What are the primary places church members can engage in the mission to replant the church?
If it’s in a small group, invite people to join a small group and explain that a win would be seeing people come to know Jesus on their couch. If it’s in the children’s ministry, invite people to be screened, trained, and approved to work with children, and tell them that a win would be to see children be saved by Jesus and taught the Bible in an environment that is safe and fun. Then make sure the leaders of each area understand and model the “win.” I will talk more about how to develop leaders in a future article.
Celebrate the wins
Living on mission with God is a difficult journey. It is important that along the way we take every opportunity to share the evidence of God’s grace. When someone becomes a Christian, tell the congregation. When a leader does a great job, praise them for their faithfulness.
You can celebrate the wins by sending texts, making phone calls, giving hand-written letters of encouragement, posting a picture on Facebook with a caption, writing a blog post, or making a video for YouTube. I know one pastor who even gave leaders in the church trophies for a year of faithful service. It doesn’t matter how you celebrate the wins as much as it matters that you do celebrate the wins. As motivation for mission leaks out, celebrating a win adds that much-needed quart of oil.
God’s people need clarity for mission. They need church leadership to define what the “win” is for replanting the church.
My goal is to have a culture of celebration within the leadership at the church I lead. I want everyone in leadership to look for gospel stories and share ministry highlights with each other—this is not bragging about themselves but about Jesus. I rate my success in motivating people for mission by the amount of excitement our leaders have for mission. I want to share a note I received this week from one of our small group leaders. This is a note that I shared with others to celebrate the win:
Hi Pastor Bubba,
I just wanted to send you a note with some great news from our community group. A faithful couple in our group heard that a younger couple (non-Christian) who they had befriended was struggling. They told our group about it and we started praying for the couple. The couple from our community group began investing in the young couple and sharing the gospel with them. At one point, the young couple asked if they could visit our community group. The wife became a Christian outside of the group while meeting with the faithful couple in our group. God saved the husband on the couch at community group some time later! What is also cool is that now the younger couple is inviting friends and family to church and community group and telling people about Jesus. God is good. Hope this note is encouraging.
As motivation for mission leaks out, celebrating a win adds that much-needed quart of oil.
Rely on Jesus
Pastors, replanting a church is incredibly difficult. It is likely that your personal mission tank is running low. I understand how it feels when this happens. I understand the struggle with striving to fill up other peoples’ tanks when your own personal tank is running on empty.
Remember, you are not alone. When Jesus said, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20), he wasn’t just saying that to the apostles. He was saying it to you and me and all the other pastors who are striving to motivate others to mission. As I sit in my office typing these words on my laptop, I’m praying for you and asking the Holy Spirit to encourage your heart and empower you to keep up the good work.
Stay tuned for more posts in this series in the coming weeks as we cover the practical details of replanting a church, including how to raise funds, develop leaders, recruit volunteers, and more.