Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This Changes Everything: Barriers

We are not going to take it anymore!

Don’t get nervous, because we’re not yelling at random passers-by through open windows or contemplating carnage (in fact, we are smiling, high-fiving, and having the time of our lives!). But we’re done making excuses. We will not listen to the people who say, “It cannot be done. Truth is unpopular. The road is narrow. Churches that worship on Saturday (and hang on to some other teachings) will never break through and become prevailing churches.”

Here is how I see it. The distinctives are not a barrier to growth. There are other barriers, but the message is not one of them.

A lot of people actually like to discover truth. They think the Sabbath totally makes sense and, when they learn that God doesn’t torture the unsaved forever, they are relieved. When a church makes Jesus first, when it views each doctrine through the lens of grace, when people truly love each other, the message is not a fence; it’s a bridge. (Of course, no one is open to “truth” that makes people critical, arrogant, or harsh.)

Time will prove the point, and we have a rising sea-swell of stories about people whose lives were miraculously changed by God to illustrate it. We have not yet seen churches with our theological niche that never stop growing, but the reason is not the message.

Look at the factors below. Ask yourself (or phone a friend) and decide, Which of these prevent a church from becoming a prevailing church?

____ The pastor is lazy and inept.

____ The leaders think they’re so smart and talented, they don’t really need God.

____ Members don’t care that much where lost people end up.

____ The leaders design programs with the assumption that tomorrow is 1965.

____ The local church is not trusted to make the big decisions that affect long-term growth (e.g. staffing, money, and facilities).

We will unpack this discussion more on August 9. We’ve discovered something big that will help all of us understand how to leverage our lives for the kingdom. In ten short days, we’ll light the candles (that you can’t blow out) and celebrate anniversary number five.

We want to hear your feedback. Post your comments below. Let us know why you think churches with our theological view have stopped short of prevailing.

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” (Joshua 3:5)

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