Every church leader wants to do God's work the way God wants it to be done, but is that happening in your church right now?
If you want to lead people into a growing relationship with God, you have probably recognized that our life with God is not static. There are highs and lows; seasons where God seems near and periods where God seems to have forgotten about the people in our church.
Or maybe you have been faithful - you preach the gospel, people are discipled, leaders are developed, you are committed to stewardship and missions - but something is still missing. There is little angst or antagonism in your church but it's hard to ignore the cloud cover of apathy that seems to hang over everything.
In his book, Outgrowing The Ingrown Church, Jack Miller shares four steps to spiritual renewal:
1. Develop an openness to God's vision for the local church
Reject the status quo as normal. Let's see ourselves more as God sees us. Pursue joy in gathered worship.
2. Work to develop an honesty about your sins and weaknesses
Repentance is the first step towards the transformation of progressive sanctification. Faith as a divine power always begins with a recovery of honesty about ourselves in relationship to God.
3. Personalize your relationship with Christ
I must see that the risen Lord has told ME personally to go and disciple the nations for his glory. The Christian life consists of personal pronouns: 'Christ loved ME and gave Himself for ME.' (Galatians 2:20).
4. Commit yourself to express God's glory in every part of your life and service
Exaltation and exultation is certainly our great goal in gathered worship. But it also shapes and animates the work that our people do throughout the week.
Do The Next Right Thing
Let's not have greater ambition for the people we lead than we do for ourselves. Before you look around and take stock of who needs help, walk through each of these steps with at least one other leader in your church.
In fact, I highly recommend reading through Miller's book with your leadership team. Miller recounts his own journey and each chapter includes action steps which are fantastic to process together.
Once you finish working through this with your team, make sure to create an action plan for applying what you have learned to the life of your church. Clarify outcomes, determine how progress will be measured, and articulate the value added to your church when you complete this plan. Oh, and make sure that one person on your team is responsible for the plan.