So, what is a winning church to you? In my last post, I detailed what I think scripture describes as winning components of a church. In this post I want to be a tad carnal, in a life giving, not offensive to God, kind of way.
I know as a young pastor, I just wanted to get in the game. I just wanted to be a youth pastor so bad, I would have taken any job at any church, and I did. Bad mistake. Several of them.
Every church says they want to grow, but that is not true, it’s assumed. Most youth workers I know, like to be a part of churches that are growing or at least making progress. Yet, many of my youth workers friends are in churches who are more interested in maintenance that growth.
So, before you shake that hand or sign on the dotted line, ask yourself a few deeper questions.
Does The Church Perform Like It Wants To Grow?
Churches that only hope to grow without a plan to grow, will not grow. Churches that plan and execute, on a regular basis, grow.
I’ve heard it said that we ought to pray like its all up to God and work like it’s all up to us. When I hear Pastors say, “Well, its all in God’s hands” I want to say,”No, it’s not. He put it in our hands” That’s the point of the Great Commission. We work with the Holy Spirit to get the message out, make disciples of those who believe and build the kingdom of God through love and service.
What outreaches is the church running on a regular basis?
What corporate outreaches do they have? (Easter plays, etc.)
Don’t be a part of a lazy church.
Does The Church Pray Like It Wants To Grow?
All work and no prayer makes the church a machine, a grind. Churches need to work and pray. Nehemiah says, of the rebuilding of Jerusalem,
From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. 16,17
Yes, the work has to go on, but there must also be watchmen on the wall making sure the enemy doesn’t come and destroy the work being done.
Churches that make sure that there are leaders (the Pastor being chief among them) in the church who are upholding the work of God with prayer and urging the pursuit of depth of spiritual life (personal and family) are necessary for a healthy church. Does the church you’re looking at feel like prayer is important?
The church who balances the work of God with the spiritual health of it’s people is a winning church.
Does The Church Plan Like It Wants To Grow?
A well planned, purposeful calendar is a sign of winning church. Events and activities to reach the lost, disciple the faithful, and offers leadership training opportunities is looking to avoid a growth crisis, a maturity crisis, and a leader crisis.
Organizations tend to only address things when they see that it’s becoming a crisis versus being a proactive to avoid the crisis in the first place. The winning church looks ten steps ahead, sees the potential problems and plans to avoid it best they can.
Some of this you won’t know about the church until you’re neck deep in it, but ask to see a calendar, ask how far along they are planned and look at what’s in the bulletin to give you an idea of what their planning mindset is like.
Do they have regular planning sessions? Monthly or Quarterly?
Do they have planning retreats? Do they plan for the whole year?
The attitude. leadership, and work ethic of a church will tell you whether that church is going to win or not. Sadly, many youth workers only look at is the pay check and youth room possibilities as to whether they work at a church or not; then two years in, they bolt.
Winning doesn’t mean perfect. Every church you apply to has it’s problems, even “winning” churches, but I can put up with the nonsense of church people. politics, and over all messiness of community life if I’m seeing people coming to know Christ and growing in their faith.
Non-winning churches are exercises in futility, constantly putting out fires for no gain. Life’s too short for that. Choose your church wisely.