I believe the Great Commission is worthy of—and even calls for—purposed times and strategic plans for spreading the gospel. Thus, we have several times and locations each week available to members of our church to meet up with a partner for the purpose of saturating our community with the gospel.
And yet, there is a danger in using only those times for sharing the gospel.
In reality, we are surrounded by people who need the Lord—some of which are our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. We want to lead them to Christ as well, even if not on a Thursday night at 6:30 or a Saturday morning at 10:00.
Acts 8:4 tells us of the early Christians, “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.”
How do we also develop this “everywhere mentality” where we are ready to share the gospel at all times and are seeing fruit among our friends and family?
The challenges to Christian ministry continue to mount. Between a cultural shift toward intolerance of truth, the decision fatigue of pastors, the opinion overload of society, and a host of other challenges, it’s no wonder that so many pastors and spiritual leaders are falling out of the ministry.
Although I’m aware of and experience these types of challenges, I want to finish my race still serving the Lord. And I don’t want to stagger across the finish line—depleted and embittered toward the people God has called me to serve—either. I want to finish my race in love with Christ and fully engaged in His work.
In a previous blog, I shared the Spiritual Leadership Conference session 5 Commitments of Continuing Churches. Our goal, however, is not just to build a ministry that continues, but to personally stay in the race.
In other words, we cannot help others to continue if we give up.
One of the characteristics of effective leaders is a practice of personal assessment. In the Wednesday morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at 5 principles of continuing leaders with a challenge to personally assess how we’re doing in each area.
We have the absolute promise that the church will continue. Jesus plainly declared, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). Thus, we have the advantage of operating from the knowledge that we are on the winning side.
Even so, you and I both know of churches that have not continued for Christ—churches who have left off aggressively reaching the world with the gospel and dwindled to nothing or have tried to “reinvent” the church and lost their distinction and effectiveness.
So what is the difference between a local church that continues and a church that doesn’t? What helps a church remain true to its founding doctrine and biblical in its methods?
In a morning session of Spiritual Leadership Conference ’16, we looked at five commitments of continuing churches.
The 2016 Spiritual Leadership Conference begins in less than twenty-four hours. I am praying for the Lord to empower every moment of this conference for His glory and for the encouragement of His servants.
Our conference theme is one word, taken from 2 Timothy 3:14—Continue.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;—2 Timothy 3:14
If there has ever been a time when we need to continue, it is now. In addition to the natural tendency of leaders and churches to drift, we’re facing a mounting onslaught of opposition to our faith from unbelievers. For both reasons, we must be intentional about continuing in the gospel. Please pray with us that the Lord will use this conference to challenge, encourage, and equip pastors and Christian servants.
I wanted to let you know of two conference resources that I hope are a help to you whether or not you are able to be with us here in Lancaster, California, for the conference. (more…)
Over the past thirty years of ministry here in Lancaster, we have attempted to reach our community for Christ in many ways—including billboards, television ads, promoted Facebook posts, radio programs, community newsletters, gospel-centered acts of community service, and more. And we’ve seen fruit through these methods.
But of the hundreds of people saved and baptized in our church over the past twelve months (or any twelve month period), the single greatest tool for reaching them for Christ has been simple—a personal witness.
Whether it be through door-to-door soulwinning, a coworker, or a follow-up visit, fruit comes when people personally take the gospel to the lost.
I love the testimonies in this video because they underscore the value of personally sharing the gospel.
(If you can’t see this video in your email or RSS reader, you can watch it here.)
Think again of those three stories, and ask yourself what if?(more…)