A writer has pointedly asked: “What are our souls without His grace? – as dead as the branch in which the sap does not circulate. What is the Church without Him? – as parched and barren as the fields without the dew and rain of heaven.”
—D.L. Moody, Secret Power pg. 28
In replanting it is important to remember that The Holy Spirit trumps strategy–always. Developing a multi-page prospectus is a good and necessary step for anyone considering taking on dying church. Having a clear vision in mind will guide you when the journey becomes difficult and you have lost your way in the fog of conflict.
But know this, a strategy with bullet points and deadlines won’t change a heart that is struggling to believe the Gospel.
A clear step by step organizational transition process is good, but may do little to dislodge generational sin–often times your process does just the opposite–as controllers stiffen their necks and resolve to fight forward movement.
Those involved in a decades long relational rift could miss the clear call to love and unity found in John 17 and reflected in your strategy to “mix up” the Sunday School classes in order to facilitate greater community.
Work well and work hard–but don’t overlook that the greatest work to be done in a declined church is not by committee, lap-top keyboard, team retreats or vision sermons.
The greatest work done in a dying church is always by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Published May 6, 2015