This is a continuation (obviously by the title) of my last post, but I want to express to you why I am revisiting these points. There is an idea that as a Pastor, one should really establish a CEO mentality and set fourth a vision of 15 ministries, how many buildings we should have and how many members we should be running in Worship. The truth is, my desire is to have a biblically healthy church. That is my goal now, and by the grace of God that will be my goal in 15 years. If we are healthy, we will have ministries that develop, just as a healthy child develops physically. What I am trying to do in these blogs is take some time and paint a picture as to what that should look like. I love this next point because we have seen great steps in this area recently and as time goes we will see even greater steps:
Biblical Understanding Of Conversion:
When are healthy when we get away from “praying the prayer” and we understand salvation as more than a prayer and a group of facts – but rather that it is a turning from sin to faith in Christ. This faith is more than believing facts… that is where it begins - but it moves much deeper than head knowledge to a heart love and dependency on Christ. It is a faith that finds all of its satisfaction in Christ. Like He told the woman at the well (that she “would never thirst again”) it is that Christ is my highest delight and supreme treasure. If it is true salvation, I will “endure to the end” and I will not abandon the faith. When a church understands this, their counseling looks different and the way they present the gospel sounds different than much of today’s easy belief-ism. They way they see missions is different. This growth is never fully completed in a church because there will always be wolves and goats - and a true church trumpets the pure picture of what biblical conversion looks like, and they do this from the children to the senior adults.
If our understanding of conversion is correct, our evangelism will be correct. If we understand what conversion is, we will be able to articulate that properly to the lost. My evangelism will not be filled with gimmicks; it will not present Christ as a “value-added” to my life. I cannot, with integrity, present Christ as one who will save you to give you “your best life now”, but rather I will present Him as someone who demands everything when you come to Him. I will understand that the best way to ensure one grows in their faith is that they are plugged in to a group of believers who love one another and teach the truth. If a church does this, they will form relationships with the lost, they will feed the hungry, they will plant churches, they will send out missionaries. This can be done out of God giving burdens to people, families, and Sunday School classes and working under the umbrella of the local church to be more effective and accountable to accomplishing the Great Commission. How will this be accomplished? I don’t know – and that is what makes all this exciting! I have no idea the types of people God has brought, and is bringing, to Trinity who are not using their gifts and talents in a way to carry out Kingdom work. But as God continues to do a work of sanctification, new ministries and opportunities will be born out of the hearts of His people and we will be astounded to see how He uses us.
Biblical Understanding Of Membership, Discipline, Growth and Leadership:
All this can fall under one heading. When we at Trinity get our membership roles under control and as we are setting up more extensive membership classes - and as we as a Church are living under covenant with one another, then we will be going full steam ahead in the right direction. This will take time, it will take staff being in position, and it will take leadership walking with us through this. But when we see what being a member is, and we know we are accountable to one another and I am not an island to myself, and that I am growing and helping others grow because we are body, and that I have a vested interest in your testimony and growth because we are all in this together, then we will begin to grow as a biblical church! Through time, as this is accomplished, it will be astounding to see what all God will do at Trinity. If we have a biblical church and biblical leadership, God will honor and bless His Word. When these biblical principals are put into practice, churches become what God wants them to be - not what man wants them to be. They impact the World for the Gospel…they understand church isn’t about what they want, but what God wants.