March 2, 2009
It is hard to believe that almost four years have passed since the Bishop Ron Ramsey and I began this journey together. In our travels and interactions, we have learned (or been reinforced in) many truths about churches. Here are a few.
God can and will bring transformation to the willing.
It has been thrilling to see the power of the Lord released into the lives of people who humbly sought his desires over their own comfort and previous traditions.
Discipleship produces evangelism.
Many churches are trying to do evangelism but are not equipped to walk with people through what it means to be a disciple. But where churches are creating environments where people are truly growing in “grace and knowledge of the truth,” evangelism is the natural outcome. That brings long-term, sustained growth.
People can’t do what they have never seen or experienced.
We can’t assume people know what to do just because they have been told. If they have never seen it, experienced it, or done it, how are they supposed to do it? That is why mentoring and exposing them to other patterns is vital. People do more what they see than what they are told.
There is no power without personal and corporate prayer.
We have found where the pastor and leaders are busy doing rather than being, there is no power. When there is no corporate emphasis on prayer and personal study of the Scriptures, there is no power. Methodologies may change, but the basics never do. Craig Groschel’s book “IT” captures this truth.
People confuse forms and functions.
Some have asked us when God ordered the church to change. As far as functions, he hasn’t. Worship, prayer, study of Scripture, using our gifts in ministry, preaching, evangelism, and giving as stewards are all functions that will never change.But God has called us in Psalm 78 and other places to effectively communicate the great truths about the Lord to the next generation. And to do that, our forms and methodologies must change. We must not confuse the non-changing functions with the need to change forms.
What truths do you see?