10 Characteristics of Growing Churches August 12, 2010 #1 – They have leaders that lead!
“For God so loved the world that He did not send a committee!” Not sure where I heard that…but its true!
#2 – A desperation for God’s power!
Prayer isn’t a good luck charm that is attached at the beginning or at the end of something…people are legitimately desperate for the power of God. They pray Habakkuk 3:2 prayers every day and…
#3 – They believe that greater things are in store.
They don’t just pray big prayers…but they have a sense of anticipation that is contagious! They don’t read Acts 2 and think “those were the good ‘ole days” but rather they think, “that’s where God STARTED this thing…we should be WAY ahead of this!!!”
#4 – They are full of ordinary people.
God always uses ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things. Jesus didn’t choose one scribe or Pharisee when He launched the church…and Acts 4:13 talks about how He used ordinary people to absolutely turn the world upside down. The staff LOVE the church…so much so that they would actually attend there even if they were not on staff!
Respect for tradition Desperation for God’s power Use of technology Passion filled leaders Belief that greater things are in store. Ownership of the church – staff would actually attend if they were not on staff. #5 – They leverage technology.
They don’t view technology as of the devil but rather as a tool given by God to reach as many people as possible for Jesus. (Btw…isn’t it funny that some churches are against the use of technology yet all of them rode to their church in a car and their church building has air conditioner?)
#6 – The church is full of passion.
People in the church actually LOVE the church and do not attend because they feel like they have to! (The only reason people get angry with the fact that you love your church is probably because they have no idea what it is like to actually love their church!)
#7 – They take ownership of the great commission.
They REFUSE to be “keepers of the aquarium” and instead embrace the COMMAND of Jesus to reach the world for HIM! (BTW NewSpring Church…it has been SO encouraging to see so many of you come to our evangelism seminar this week! We have one more live one tonight at our Anderson campus – you can sign up here – and, if you cannot join us live for some reason this event will be available online just like our Sunday services…so you can join us tonight at www.newspring.cc from 7-9, can’t wait!)
#8 – There is a willingness to change and adapt, even when it means they have to go against the very “innovative” ideas that they themselves once established!
Anyone can change the traditions of the past…but true innovation occurs when we’re willing to change the ideas that we once thought were innovative and ground breaking!
#9 – Generosity is embraced.
The world has never been impacted in a positive way by people that were greedy.
#10 – The people in the church are OWNERS, not merely “members.”
Members have rights, owners have responsibilities. The people in these churches understand that it is not the pastors job to minister to the people but rather the bodies job to minister to the body! And as a result people serve Jesus by serving others instead of sitting on their “blessed assurance” and expecting to be waited on hand and foot.
“Those who are lifting the world upward and onward are those who encourage more than criticize.” Elizabeth Harrison
I posted something on twitter the other day about taking a moment to encourage someone & it got several comments on it. It really shows the internal need we ALL have. The need for encouragement. The need to have some appreciate us. We all desire to be recognized for something. To feel like we have contributed to this life some how, some way.
So make it a point once a day to encourage someone. Everyone gets enough criticism from the world around them but not near enough encouragement. Let them know you believe in them. Let them know they make a difference in your life. Let them know you recognize their contributions to society.
Then...say a prayer for them. Take your encouragement one step further and just say a prayer of blessings over their life. Pray for God's favor to fall on them. Pray for wisdom & direction in their life. This will help you encourage more than you ever thought you could.
So what are you waiting for? Go on...give it a try! I think you just might like it. ;-)
For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Prov. 2:10
Wisdom... Something we all need more of! Reading Proverbs 2 today continues to remind me of that. How do we get wisdom? Well I think it's easier than what we make it out to be.
1) Ask God! James 1:5
2) Read the Bible! It's packed full!!
3) Seek Godly counsel! Before going to someone just for their opinion talk to someone that is knowlegable in the Word first.
4) Seek the advice of just 2 or 3 more people you generally trust.
The Bible says it's wise to seek the counsel of multiple people. Just be careful in who & how many. Going to just anyone and everyone can bring confusion into the situation. So seek a few select people that you trust will be honest w/ you & help you get the understanding you need.