by Stephen L. Dunn
Churches who are vision-focused and mission-disciplined are the most likely to be churches whose ministry is fruitful in dynamic and irresistible ways. There is a spiritual energy to such churches that serves as a conduit of God’s grace from a deep well of God’s transforming love. There is a supernatural reality at work that draws the church forward in life-changing ministry. It is exciting to be a part of such a church and exhilarating to be one its or pastors or leaders.
The Holy Spirit could and would sustain such a movement except for two factors that emerge from our human nature. We tend to go it alone in too many things and give little time or attention to our relationships as Christians. The excuse is often in such a church, “We are busy in the work of the Lord.’ The reality is that as we grow busier we become disconnected from the Body itself robbing one another of the daily support, encouragement, and accountability necessary for human beings to participate in a supernatural work. And as new people are “added” we often do not take the relational time to assimilate them into the Body, i.e., to connect them. New people who do not become connected early often find the back door. Long-termers who have grown disconnected drift away.
The other is commitment. We are not seeking members in this supernatural ministry but fully devoted disciples of Jesus Christ. Busy churches, caught up in the energy of a dynamic work, often equate numbers and activity as a measure of success instead of making authentic disciples. Disciples who pray, who serve, who learn from God’s Word, who give, who sacrifice.
Churches that seek to ride the wave of the Spirit over the long haul need to make a commitment to the systems or structures that help embed the DNA on connection and commitment into its people. Otherwise, God will be leading but we will follow only to a point …
(C) 2011 by Stephen L Dunn
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