I like a clear strategy, thorough-going administration and functional organisation. It makes me feel in control and as if I’m on top of things. It makes me feel as if the task of reaching people is not beyond me. I feel safe with a strategy, so I want people around me in my church that are gifted administrators and organisers.
And surely that’s what the Lord wants too, isn’t it? His churches will be built up, and His people will grow, by the power of efficient strategy and people who are able to make things happen. “Send me more of them, Lord,” I would pray.
But what happens when you are trying to build a Gospel-centred church family when few are administrationally gifted, most genuinely struggle to organise things and planning doesn’t come naturally? Well, if you are an idiot like me, try to beat them into organisational shape whilst begging God to transform them into the congregation that all the church growth manuals say they ought to be. Or else go back to your bible and realise that the Lord expands His kingdom rule through weak and feeble pray-ers who depend on Him over their own strategic ability and well meant plans.
I want a clear plan that testifies to my greatness as a leader. He wants to silence our pride and show that He alone is saviour.
I want to put confidence in worldly methods and boil Gospel ministry down to a manageable formula. He works to defy worldly wisdom and delights to anwer the prayers of dependent people.
Realising this is truly liberating. I no longer need to try to disciple people to be square pegs in round holes. I don’t need to train non-strategy types to be what they are not (needlessly frustrating and discouraging them along the way) .
Not all in our church families can plan, strategize, and push through a vision for Gospel growth, but everyone of God’s children can beg their heavenly Father for mercy, direction and saving grace. I can teach them all that! Until recently, I counted it a frustration that our church family has only a few who can drive through a vision – however, I’m beginning to think that in the long term it might be one of God’s greatest gifts to us. It means we have nowhere to turn but prayer, and we can all beg!