Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.
Replanting and revitalizing is a lot like farming. You work hard, wait, work some more and then wait. In the waiting you may begin to wonder if anything is happening, if any impact is being made, if any true spiritual work is taking place.
The normal measures of success and growth (increased attendance, bigger budgets, more programs and buzz) may remain elusive to you—especially during the early days (read first five years) of your replanting work. You should not ignore the standard measurements of growth but you also shouldn’t be tied to them alone as the primary indicators of success. I’m not advocating for changing the game “where everyone gets a trophy” and you never keep score. I am suggesting that you begin measuring something many fail to measure—moving your members toward maturity. Maturation is a funny thing—it occurs internally yet displays itself externally. It develops slowly but appears suddenly. Its absence and presence are undeniable. Paul states the goal of his ministry is to present everyone mature in Christ, he then shows us the pattern of ministry he employs to get there. Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus–Him we proclaim
Skillful Discipling/Pastoring–warning, teaching everyone
The Approach–with all wisdom
Fully dependent on God–struggling with all his energy
We’re asking those in our church this question: “Are you following Jesus more fully and faithfully now than you were last (week, month, year)?
We’re organizing our efforts and aim at helping our people mature in Christ—we’re trusting God to give us the strength to do so and leaving the results up to Him.
Published June 16, 2015