Challenge – Change – Courage

September 29, 2007 by  
Filed under Transformation

Pastor,

Yesterday I spoke with a Denominational Leader concerning the critical need in the churches he serves to step up to the ‘challenge of change’. When he addresses pastors with this reality, he encounters a variety of responses. Almost all of those responses include a reason (excuses) as to why they cannot engage change. They have a family. That family will experience hardship if they launch a change initiative, it fails, and they are dismissed. These concerns are not without merit. This scenario is played out 19,000 times a year in the church in America. Lets examine this together. Then, you tell me what should be done.

ChallengeBetween 2007 & 2010 12 -20% of the churches in America will simply close their doors (Barna, Olson , Rainer). Worse, almost none of these churches measures ministry by effectiveness – – fulfilling the Great Commission. They have no intentional process to transform people or to measure that transformation. In short, the have activity that will wear you out, but, no ministry venues that make a difference for eternity.

Change The focus of ministry must be change (transformation Rom. 12:2; 2 Cor.3:18). Most pastors KNOW they need modification in ministry structures and focus, but, they are utterly unwilling to lead the initiative to incorporate those changes in ministry. In short, they are captive to the fear of man.

CourageAsa faced wickedness and spiritual declension on all fronts. God sent the Prophet Azariah to him (2 Chron. 15:2). Asa ‘took courage’ (2 Chron. 15:8). He led a sweeping renewal, removing the detestable practices that dishonored the LORD Jehovah. He had the chutzpah to fire his grandmother (who was erecting phallic symbols across the land as symbols of worship to the fertility gods). Think about it pastor – firing Grandma. Way to go Asa!

So pastor, where are you in this trilogy of “Challenge-Change-Courage? God will bless your efforts as he did Asa (cf. 2 Chron. 15:2,7). You will look back on this time in your ministry and rejoice that you found the courage to ACT. Do it today, right now.

Tom Fillinger

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