It’s the middle of summer and I’m missing football.
This got me thinking about the churches I’ve served at and I feel like I needed to equate them to NFL teams. In no particular order, on purpose,
One church I compare to the Chargers, They were fun with lots of great moments and lots of talent, and had some success.
One church I thought of as the The Browns, they didn’t not know how to win. Bad coaching, bad players, messed up locker room.
One church thought they were the Cowboys, lots of hype and chatter, but lots of drama in the locker room.
One church, Packers for sure. Legendary coach, hard working, lots of tradition, but lost the vision for what winning meant as well as the fans who supported them, no matter what.
Another church was the Jets but with Brett Favre. This was a short stint. Felt like I got traded . This was a pristine team. Strategy over comradere. All machine, no passion, no wins.
There were the Steelers. A team of great tradition, but with an aging quarterback. There’s some talent, but they just can’t put it all together.
I know, you think I’m being judgmental. I’m not. These are my opinions. Youth workers have to decide what a “winning” church is and then apply to them.
When a football player retires, he remembers the good and bad of each team he’s played for. His favorite coach and his least favorite. Somehow, we think we shouldn’t define winning teams and losing teams when it comes to the church. I disagree.
If you’re a young youth pastor, you’re going to have define, early on, what winning is and what does a church look like when they are winning. Otherwise, you’ll be desperate for a job and sign up with any team. Don’t do it!
By the way, prayer is a big part of this search, but I find that all prayer and no discernment is a terrible way to choose a youth pastor position. All I am saying is, I could have avoided some “losing” churches if had committed to Acts 2:42-47 as my Biblical definition of winning and what I really wanted out of working at a church.
First, look for the biblical definition of a winning (not read as perfect) church and then consider asking these questions of the church you are applying to or at least ask them inwardly and look for signs to the answer.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Does the church stick to the Bible or does it run on the pastors personality?
Do the people of the church like to get together or is it a chore, just one more event/meeting?
Does the church enjoy meals together? (most to)
Doe the church value prayer in and out of Sunday service?
Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles.
What do you believe about the supernatural power of God? Does the church you want to work at share your beliefs?
What signs and wonders or manifest works of God would you want to see at your church?
All the believers were together and had everything in common.
Is there a general sense of unity in the congregation?
Are people on board with the pastor’s vision? (How can you tell?)
They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.
Is this a generous church?
Do they bless the community or take from it?
Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
Does the church have a small group piece to facilitate discipleship?
Is there a general sense of hospitality?
praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
How many new members have been added in the past year?
How many are finding Christ in the church and through it’s members?
Is there a premium put on evangelism events and personal soul winning?
How many have been baptized?
How many guests are in service during your visit?
Don’t be enamored with the preaching, there more to church than preaching
Don’t be enamored with the worship, trends come and go.
Don’t be enamored with the facilitates, they only facilitate the work being done.
Don’t be enamored by “potential”, look at what is real and happening in real time.
If you want a long term, fruitful youth ministry and you want to maintain your own spiritual health and life goals, these questions are a critical part of making these decisions. Winning churches, not perfect churches, care about the process, the journey and not just the destination.