Skip to main content

Vacation Reading

Right now while on vacation I’m reading a book called The Intentional Church by Randy Pope. It brings to light some things I’ve thought for a long time, and Pope articulates them so well. 

On spiritual maturity he says, “Over the years I have observed a faulty assumption in the church at large regarding maturity. The majority report among Christian seems to be that Christian maturity is measured by the biblical and theological knowledge a person has assembled coupled with his spiritual commitment. Yet I am amazed how little emphasis is give to the observable life change that is brought about the application of scripture to their lives.”

This is so true. In pastoring I have experienced that people think maturity is determined by the amount of time you have been a Christian. A woman in one of our churches would take pride often in the “amount of years she had been saved” and thought this should open up many opportunities for her in ministry. However she was probably one of the most carnal people I knew.

Pope goes on to say, “I am also amazed at how many people that consider themselves mature in Christ but cannot identify anyone who has entered the Kingdom because of their life and witness.” Again, something to really think about. Later on in the book he shares about a conversation with Dr. Cho in Korea where he asked him what accounts for his church’s steady growth of at least 20% a year for all these years. Cho shared that it’s easy – the entire church is divided into groups of ten. Every group is responsible for leading at least two people to the Lord each year. Cho was asked, “what if they don’t?” He responded, “Then they are disciplined.” It is believed that if they have not led at least two people to the Lord that year, there is no way they could be considered spiritually mature. Can you possibly imagine this happening in our churches in America? No. And that’s exactly why they have a church in Korea numbering 800,000 and your average church in America is less than 100 people.

Interesting…I remember when I was just a teenager getting ready to go to bible college and I had the thought that a person could not possibly be spiritually mature if they were not leading people to the Lord. I made this statement to some “elders” at the time at my home church and was told that not everybody had the gift of evangelism and that some people just didn’t have the personality to do that. It didn’t sit right with me then but I did not have the age nor the experience or platform to continue to make my point and have it heard.

I know there are many elders, deacons and even pastors of many churches (and their spouses) who have not led many people, if any, to the Lord. (I mean personally, not just through an outreach of the church.) One time I was in a service in one of our A/G churches where the evangelist had everyone stand and then said, if you have led someone to the Lord this year, keep standing, otherwise have a seat. Only like two people in the congregation were left standing. That’s pretty pathetic.


Popular posts from this blog

This Could Have Ruined Everything... (But It Didn't!)

No one would ever guess what happened to me this weekend in Jacksonville, I'm going to tell you. :)

As I was preaching at the Fearless Tour at New Hope Assembly of God this weekend,  I got choked up, literally. For probably 2-3 minutes I coughed profusely and greatly struggled. Then I drank some water and kept preaching. Everyone was gracious to give me a few moments to get my bearings. If you were there, you'll remember it!

What no one realized at the time was that I swallowed a bug that flew right in while I was preaching! So disgusting! I said nothing because I was at a point in the sermon where I was really connecting and I knew if I said, "I swallowed a bug," everyone would either laugh profusely or be really concerned, or start feeling sorry for me.  And at that point whey wouldn't be thinking about the message anymore, but the fact that I had just swallowed a bug. They would then imagine what it would be like, and feel grossed out which is u…

I'm Just Being Transparent...

This year at the Stronger Conference, a young minister stopped me as I was walking out of the room at the conclusion of a workshop and she said, "I want to tell you something..." (I was all ears.) She said, "Do you notice how many of the speakers this weekend are saying, "Now, I'm just being transparent when I tell you..." or "I'm just keepin' it real..." I nodded yes. In fact, I mentioned that I was one of those speakers. I think I probably said a few times in both my keynote message and my workshop that I was just "keepin' it real."

After I affirmed that yes, I had noticed that -- she said, "Do you know why they have to do that? They do it...and you do it, because so many people don't keep it real. So many in leadership aren't transparent, Deanna. That's why all these people speaking here feel an urge to declare their transparency.." I let her know that usually when I say, "I'm just keeping …

What To Do First to Make a Profit

Today on Seth Godin's blog, he said:

It's tempting to decide to make a profit first, then invest in training, people, facilities, promotion, customer service and most of all, doing important work. In general, though, it goes the other way.
Yes, it does. If you are waiting to make a profit before you do these things, in my experience you're  not going to make a profit. So many organizations, ministries and churches are struggling with financial issues. I know your pain. As anyone who follows our story knows, our ministry was in a ton of debt four years ago when I came on as director.  Since that time, we've gotten out of debt and turned a profit every year.  God has done amazing things through out team, for which we give Him the glory!

I find that what Seth is saying here is absolutely true, with one disclaimer. For Christian leaders, spiritual disciplines must always be first. Before we started investing and training and all of that, seeking God for his blessing and…