In the book called Organic Church, by Neil Cole, Neil asks a very provocative question,
“Our churches should allow Jesus to be the leader on our team and set expectations accordingly. Someone might say, ‘Well of course we recognize Jesus is on board; it is assumed.’ But the real test is if you conduct ministry business expecting Jesus to carry the load - to carry the team. Or do you practice church as though Jesus doesn’t need to do anything, and everything is done for Him instead of by Him?”Later in the book, Neil writes about this issue again,
“We must trust God to do His part. We must be willing to place ourselves in a position where, if He does not show up, we will be seen as complete fools. Most churches have not been willing to take that risk.”So, if Jesus never showed up in your church or ministry, would anyone notice? (Tweet This)
Are you and your leaders willing to risk and lead in such a way that unless God is in it, your plans, goals and dreams are doomed to fail?
I understand that this is not an easy thing. We don't want to be foolish about our decisions...but we do need to be fools for Christ. What does this look like practically? Here are a couple of thoughts (in no particular order) that would help and guide a Church in placing themselves in a position to fail if Jesus doesn't show up.
Are you willing to make decisions in light of where God is leading, not necessarily having your budget be the sole arbiter of decisions you make.
Are you willing to confess your weakness and need for Christ and His strength to others? - “My grace is sufficient for you, for [my] power is perfected in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9).
Are you willing to take times to wait at times for the Lord and not just push ahead with your agenda?
Are you looking to the wrong gifts and experiences for people to be in spiritual leadership. Instead of merely competent people within leadership, what about faithful people? What about broken and surrendered people?
"God’s idea of ministry training is a broken vessel. His idea of spiritual preparation is suffering, which includes rejection."Instead of requiring your pastor to be a CEO (in addition to many other things), perhaps you need to revisit and emphasize their responsibility in being a shepherd for the people of God. A shepherd that points us to Jesus.
— Frank Viola (Tweet This)
Are Jesus' words merely just a motto or are they truly something you cling to - “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). (Tweet This)
Do you embrace failure in ministry or do you react by being worried, anxious and frantic?
Are you willing to trust God enough that Jesus is truly the Head of His Church in such a way that you are willing and have the freedom to let certain balls drop?
How much does do you and your church's leadership dedicate to prayer (and fasting)? How much of that time is proportionate to the time you spend in strategic planing and team meetings?
Any thoughts or questions you would add to this list?