Give Your Church an Extreme Makeover
- Wednesday, December 14, 2005
If your church is torn apart by conflict that robs of it vitality and fruitfulness, the culprit is likely corporate sin. This kind of damage isn't easy to repair, but there's hope if you're willing to pursue an extreme church makeover.
Here's how you can give your church an extreme makeover:
Stand against evil. Remember that your position in Christ gives you all the spiritual authority you need to confront and defeat evil forces seeking to harm your church. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the courage and strength you need to continue to pursue truth in the face of evil's deception. Pray often to deal with spiritual warfare.
Center your ministries on Christ to achieve unity. Don't let bickering over doctrinal issues derail your ministries and keep your church from achieving all God wants it to achieve in His kingdom. Realize that there should be unity in the body of Christ because the Holy Spirit has made Christians one. Rather than making doctrine an end in itself, make it your highest goal to express love for God and your brothers and sisters in Christ. Strive to develop the fruit of the Spirit (such as love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness) as you relate to others. Ask God to help you always be humbly aware that you still have more to learn about Him. Remember that the Bible is meant to unite and liberate people, not divide them. Don't reduce Christianity to an intellectual exercise; remember that it's a relationship with a living God. Don't base your identity on your denominational affiliation; base it on your identity in Christ. Understand that your church's ministries must be rooted in Christ if they are going to bear fruit.
Balance power between different ministries well. Realize that if God is leading your church in a new direction, everyone in the church family must be incorporated into the process. Divide the congregation into small groups and invite each group to a meeting at which someone on staff invites them to talk openly about their perceptions of the church. Ask them to discuss questions such as: "What are the strengths of our church?", "What are the weaknesses?", "What are we doing right?", "What are we doing wrong?", "What kind of church would you like to see us become?" and "What needs are being overlooked?". Genuinely listen to and appreciate all perspectives. Encourage people to refuse to listen to gossip. As church members mature and prove themselves faithful in small ministry tasks, help them move up to more responsibility. Provide the training they need and hold them accountable to character requirements for serving in certain roles. Agree on common purposes for your church's ministry work - no matter what type of work it is - to help people work together in harmony.
Choose leadership styles wisely. Understand that the right style of leadership for a particular situation should be determined by who the followers are. Choose a style that best relates to followers' ability and maturity. Recognize that unqualified people need instruction and supervision. But as they mature, they should be more involved in making decisions. As they assume more responsibility, they need emotional support from leaders.
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