Article by P. Marie Shaw
Here is another concept taught by Pastor’s Coach that has captured my attention. It answers the question, “How does a church leader get his congregation off of their backsides, and contribute to the health and growth of the body?”
Let’s talk about it. Many church members have the culture of coming to church to get something—get fed, get re energized so they can make it through another week, or get their neighbor saved. The Bible doesn’t paint that picture. It says the opposite in Ephesians 4:15, 16:
“But speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (verse 15 NIV: grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.)
Is it on the hearts of the people to grow up? To actually cause growth in others? Does it just happen magically like the magic beans Jack throws out the window at night into the garden? Presto! In the morning Jack finds a full-grown bean stalk that can take him to heaven. No, it happens by having a vision for growth and ministry coaching by the church leaders, and then by the members themselves intentionally going after it.
Oh, I didn’t know that it would take time and work and effort. My favorite TV show is NCIS. I have been watching it faithfully for 12 seasons now. I know all the characters’ quirks. They are all so loveable in their own endearing way. It’s so easy to sit on the sofa with a bowl of popcorn. And Jeopardy is very educational…I’ve seen American Pickers reruns several times, but it’s still kind of interesting.
But, as Michael Brodeur asks, are we fulfilling our God-given destiny? Do we even know that gifts were given to us by God before we were born that have an eternal purpose? Oh, did Jesus tell his disciples to go and make disciples who would make disciples who would make disciples? Will there be luscious fruit to lay at the Master’s feet at the end of our lives?
I had a very short dream a few weeks ago—thankfully it was short. I dreamed that I was in hell. The only thing I felt was constant regret. No escape from regret. Every second regret. I don’t want that dream to be fulfilled!
So the answer is “delight driven discipleship.” Get off the couch. Be excited to meet with other believers in church small groups with a common goal of growth. Discover your gifts and calling, and the desires in your heart that were placed there by God. There is nothing about “duty” in any of this; it is meant to be delightful. A life that has no purpose other than keeping the bills paid is not very fulfilling or exciting. We all know, “There has to be more!” Even unbelievers know that. By putting your gifts and talents to work, you will begin to see others being blessed and changed right before your eyes. The result of that is that you want to keep doing it. As you keep doing it, your gifts, calling, and experience will actually grow. You will be rewarded with more “talents.” Don’t be the servant who can only regret burying his talent in the ground until his Master returned.