Creating a Learning Network for Kingdom Builders!
I faced this question a few weeks ago... What would you have said to this person?
Sarah was so frustrated. Her husband, Dick, had finally said, ‘Honey, just tell them how you feel!” Sarah though about this and then she had sat down and wrote ‘the letter’. You know, the letter where you really let out your thoughts, frustrations and tell it like it is. Dick thought it was a little strong but got her points across. She was part of a knot of Christians that often ate lunch together at work. At lunch the next day she handed the letter to Andrew and asked him to read it. “What do you think, am I communicating my heart?”
Andrew read it. “Well, do you want it straight?” “Of course,” said Sarah. “Well,” Andrew said slowly, “You start out with all the great things the church does. It sounds like they have been doing a good work. That is where I’d end, right after that part.” “Andy!” Sarah was a tad exasperated. “You are missing the point! First Baptist could be doing evangelism outreaches; training new believers how to share their faith more effectively; making recordings of people’s God stories and getting them out to friend and neighbors, why even putting them on youtube. I have so many ideas!”
What would you tell Sarah?
Ask the pastor to do 3 minute exhortation on Sunday morning. Encourageing them by telling stories of people changed because someone cared to share. Find easy ways to evangelize like recording and handing out pastors message. Be positive and upbeat!
Christians are encouraged when they see people impacted by the word of God. Ask God to help you be an encouragement to your church.
You- speaking to Sarah- are commanding that others do the work rather than simply going out and doing the work yourself- lead by example- activate by doing
Jesus' command to "Go into all the world..." was just that - GO! A church that is not growing can point to many reasons, but one of them is that we have slacked off. We're not sharing our faith and inviting people to attend church with us. I believe Sarah should simply bolster her case with Scriptures that admonish us to be a witness, to love other people and show that love.
We can be lighthouses in our own neighborhoods by getting to know those who live around us, lift them in prayer to our Heavenly Father, ask about their needs, be Christ 'with skin on' to them, maybe even start a home Bible study.
Our whole culture is too ME centered, and we Christians have taken on that same misled priority. Pastors need to make this one of the foundations in their churches. Jesus' command to GO means the church is not there just for the Christians within their four walls. The local church is part of a community and thus is commanded to GO and reach the lost.
ginger- i agree in principle that the church shouuld- GO- but too many people see something not getting done and think it has to be the church to do it- so they excoriate the church rather than just doing it themselves
god didnt say go- to churches- but to people
First, I would of advised Sarah not to write the letter but to first sit down with her Pastor and share with him her frustrations. Perhaps, he would have an open heart and ear to hear Sarah's ideas or concerns and even create a church positon for her to come up with an evangelism team.
Either way, I think it is important to note that believers should be sharing the good news with others whether they reside in a church or not. There are many ways to outreach to a community: door-door witness, one-on-one witness, facebook, twitter, blogs,etc.
Sarah should not pigeon-hole herself but to seek God in prayer as to what he would like her to do, whom to reach, and where to go to do these things she speaks of.
If Sarah's 'church' does not to do outreach (and they should) then if not the''church' then who???
I have been in ministry since 1973. I am the Sr. Pastor of my current Church since 03/11/98. So I have a little experience in this field.
When God lays such "ministry" upon a persons heart it is NOT UP TO SOMEONE ELSE to do it. It is the ministry the Lord has given THAT person.
So DO IT and quit looking for someone to blame because it isn't getting done.
Stop looking for accolades from the Pastor or some other church leader. Do it in secret, the Lord will reward you openly. With the internet and technology available ANYONE can post testimonies, God stories or any other other good news.
If you are attending First Baptist then YOU ARE First Baptist... Stop judging what the Pastor / Leaders are doing or not doing.
You say you want the church to "support evangelism but they are not interested...."What you mean is "you want the church to accomplish YOUR IDEAS..." Evangelism is one of the core principles of the Baptist denominations. I have never met a Baptist church leader or Pastor that was not interested in evangelism.
Until YOU have walked in their office (shoes) you have NO IDEA what they go thru or do on a daily basis or how many "good ideas" they are faced with at the same time from people that have a call from God to accomplish a task and the same people want the "church" to do it. YOU ARE THE CHURCH...DO IT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Church organizations need leaders not dictators, judges or someone with great ideas that think someone else ought to accomplish in the name of the church ministry.
With Hope The Body Of Christ Will Catch On and Do The Work,
Rev Dr. Don
I think ministering Psalm 131 vs 1-2 would be a good start:
"Lord, my heart is not haughty, nor my eyes lofty.
neither do I concern myself with great matters,
nor with things to profound for me.
Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child is my soul within me."
Sarah should have a peace about what God has called her to do. It is the Holy Spirit that leads people to Christ, she has her role in the sowing and watering process(1 Cor 3).
Having been a pastor and worked for pastors for many years, I'd suggest.
1. Don't "tell them what you feel."
2. Don't write them a letter.
3. DO ask for an appointment. Pray for wisdom and revelation at the meeting.
4. At the appointment, after "small talk" ask about and listen to
things related to the pastor
5. Begin with a compliment (as Paul the Apostle often did)
6. Ask permission to address an issue.
7. Continue to ask questions, rather than make statements.
Pastor, do you feel our church could benefit from some personal evangelism training?
Would you be willing to schedule it?
8. Unless you are sincerely engaged in personal evangelism, and/or known
to be sincerely interested in being trained to do it, it may not be wise to bring it
up. The average pastor is continually being challenged about things by people,
and there are a few, who aren't the least interested in the issue they represent;
they are looking for attention and wanting to be heard. :)
9. Many pastors feel like they work for 300 bosses, each with a job description
for him. Most are open to loving suggestions if approached properly.
10. Because ideas like these are often seen by pastors as just another job he
would have to manage; offer to assist in any way, should he agree to implement
11. Pray for laborers in the harvest. God can raise up witnesses around a pastor
who doesn't witness. :)
God bless you!
All of you had really good thoughts ~ thanks.
I would say this, "In your letter you first list what the church is doing 'good'. I would stop there. Just stop. Why?
You have been trying to 'get them' to be more active in proclaiming Christ for a long time. They do proclaim Christ in their way; as a wine skin -they may have reached their capacity, that may be all they can do. You are a member of the body of Christ, you are joining with other members of the body of Christ in other ways; that, too, is 'church'. Connect with like minded people in those other ways ~ in that way fulfill the things that God is stirring in your heart."