Perhaps you, like me, have noticed that many people are more willing to come to church at Christmastime than at any other time. Sometimes it’s because they will come to see a friend or family member acting or singing in a Christmas program. Sometimes it’s because if they feel they should at least go to church for Christmas. Sometimes it’s because their heart is more tender to Christ in this season when we celebrate His birth.
Whatever the reason, I’m thankful they come and have the opportunity to hear the gospel. And I see three takeaways from this observation: (more…)
We don’t have formal commitment contracts for staff at Lancaster Baptist Church. I’ve always felt like I wanted the people who serve on our staff to be here because they want to be, not because they signed a commitment to be.
That said, before someone comes on staff, we do have conversations about intent. If someone is joining our pastoral staff or leading a team, I would prefer that their intention at least is to stay long enough that I can invest in and train them and that they can become a real asset to our church family.
Just over eighteen years ago, Tim Christoson and I had this kind of a conversation. At the time, he was in his last year of Bible college, engaged to Nicole, and looking to serve as an assistant pastor. When I interviewed him, I could see that he had a heart for the Lord and a desire to be used of God. I asked him if he were to come to Lancaster Baptist Church, if he would commit to stay at least ten years. (more…)
Relationships are vital to ministry. Whether you are a pastor, a church staff member, or serve as a leader in any area of church ministry, cultivating strong relationships is a necessary investment.
Relational-less ministry is both ineffective and harmful. It is ineffective because if we look at ministry only as a checklist, we may fulfill action-item duties, but we’ll not influence lives. It is harmful because it leaves the leader without one of the key resources to sustain faithfulness and accomplish their calling.
Relationships take time and purpose to develop. They also become the greatest treasures of life. (more…)
I firmly believe that Christ’s last command must be our first priority. I believe that every Christian individually as well as corporately with their church family should be actively engaged in sharing the gospel year round.
As a pastor, I take seriously our responsibility as a church to share the gospel, and I take seriously the spiritual maturity of our church family in making soulwinning a priority. If soulwinning and outreach times are attended by fewer and fewer people, that reveals a disconnect between what we say we believe and how we behave. Thus, we consistently give attention to keeping our soulwinning program strong.
And yet, like all priorities in our lives, sometimes we allow what is urgent to take place over what is important. Thus, every spring and fall, we press a restart button on the church soulwinning program, encouraging every member to enlist or reenlist in reaching our community with the gospel.
So, what do we do to prepare for a soulwinning relaunch? Each year is slightly different in the theming we use, but below are eight basic components: (more…)