Leaders Ask In Prayer
Good morning Family,
"And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive." (Matthew 21:22)
In the natural realm, we exchange money for the things we want and need. But in the spiritual realm, faith is what we exchange. The Bible tells us that when we pray, if we have faith, we will receive what we pray for according to the Will of GOD.
Faith is heaven's currency. Faith moves mountains. Faith opens supernatural doors. Faith pleases God. What is faith? It is simply believing God and His Word. It's believing in His goodness and knowing that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him. Faith is believing that the promises of God are true. It's obeying His Word. Where does faith come from? Everyone is given a measure of faith. Romans tell us that faith grows by hearing the Word of God. The more you hear the Word of God, the more real it becomes in your life and the easier it is to believe His promises.
It doesn't matter how much faith you have today, begin investing your faith in God's Word. As you hear and obey the Word, you will be empowered to move forward to receive every good gift He has in store for you.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
"Father, thank You for the power of Your Word at work in my life. I submit myself to You today and ask that the seeds of faith in my heart grow strong. I open my heart to You and ask You to remove any doubt or unbelief so that I can serve You with my whole heart all the days of my life in Jesus' name Amen."
Pastor Brandon Davis
Has your Sunday School program been overlooked? When I was growing up Sunday School through the age of High school was very instrumental I myself learning more about my faith and the Bible. It was the Sunday messages and sermons that provided inspiration and motivation to continue the journey. So my question is will a resurrection or a focus on your Sunday School ministry be a tirnopoint in the development of leaders within your church community? My answer, “yes!”
Don’t just take my word for it, let’s look at these common factors that aid in growing Sunday school.
10 Common Factors in Fast-Growing Sunday School Churches
The following information can change your church and your Bible teaching ministry. If you read this post, you’ll be informed and accountable, so proceed with caution! The ten common factors in fast-growing Sunday School churches are derived from a survey of churches in the state of Georgia. The research was conducted by the Georgia Baptist Convention and published in the book Key Strategies for Healthy Sunday Schools.
Without any further delay, here are the top 10 factors in fast-growing Sunday Schools.
Excerpts taken from Ken Braddy
Although not exhaustive here is a quick list to dive into that will give some direction on raising up leaders in your church and business
1. Adopt a Posture of Looking
If you want to raise up leaders, you need to be on permanent lookout for them. This should be your posture, especially if you’re an pastor/leader.
Pastors should be profoundly opportunistic about raising up more pastors. And the whole church should have a deep confidence that the Lord wants new leaders raised up.
Promote and equip men who look like they can help advance the Kingdom of God into the place I’ll never go: the future beyond my passing.
K0eep your eyes open in a number of ways. Hang around the congregation and interact with them. Stand at the door after Sunday services and notice who says what, or who is interacting with whom. Work to provide lots of teaching opportunities in the weekly life of church where gifted teachers can emerge. Praying daily through the church’s membership directory also brings people to mind.
2. Spend Personal Time
Spending time with people is a crucial part of raising up leaders, just as Jesus called the disciples to join him on the mountain so they might “be with him.”
Sadly, I see many pastors build walls around themselves. Those aren’t men who will be raising up more leaders, at least directly. I’m not saying you need to be an extrovert, but a pastor does need to find some way to spend time with other potential leaders in his church. Hebrews 13 exhorts the church to follow their elders’ example. How can they do that if they don’t know their leaders up close? Paul’s call to imitation requires the same—time spent.
So a pastor needs to figure out ways to spend time with younger men. Lunches can be crucial. On those occasions when my wife asks me to go the grocery store, I typically break into a cold sweat for fear of getting the wrong thing (my issue, not hers!), and so I can make a call to someone and be intentional in that relationship. Build people into your sermon preparation schedule, too, including a lunch devoted to brainstorming over application etc.. Not only do these encounters improve the sermon, but you should also be able to get a sense of different folks, and encourage them.
Figure out what schedule works for you, and draw disciples into it.
3. Advance Trust
If you wish to see leaders raised up, your general posture should be characterized by a willingness to advance trust. Having lived in different places and traveled, I know such a disposition varies from place to place. But I do think it’s a property of love: love believes all things and hopes all things (1 Cor. 13:7). You probably have members of your church whom the Lord has entrusted with great talent. But for that to be discovered, someone must advance trust to them, like credit. And good leaders do this. They don’t wait for people to prove themselves, and then give them teaching opportunities. No, they see the hint of something that, with a little encouragement, could grow and flourish. So they advance credit and let the young disciple spend it.
If you want to see leaders raised up, your general posture should be characterized by a willingness to advance trust.
Many leaders, with the best of motives, can be too conservative here. More than once I’ve seen senior pastors unable to affirm anyone else’s leadership. Or I’ve witnessed men become lay leaders and then pull the treehouse rope ladder up after them, so that no one else can get in, asking more of prospective ministers/leader than anyone ever asked of them! Now, you will make mistakes. You won’t bat a thousand, But do definitely take risks in leadership. It’s worth it. God is sovereign. Christ will build his church. So let’s lean in and take some risks.
Congregations, for their part, need to be patient with young men in leadership as they make young-man mistakes. Churches should not to be afraid of nominating a young lion cub. He may scratch the floors or damage some furniture, but if you’re patient with him, you’ll have a lion who loves you for life.
4. Delegate Responsibility
This point is tied to the last one. How do you advance trust? By delegating responsibility and opportunity There are several components to this:
Give people the opportunity to lead.
Quietly keep a list of men/women in your congregation you think might be good teachers, or public prayers, or service leaders, or Sunday school teachers. Test them by delegating. Again, I recognize some pastors feel very protective about their flocks: “But Mark, the Holy Spirit has made me the overseer.” That’s where I say: When you die, friend, the church is going to be fine. And you want to help make it more fine by loosening your grip now and preparing other leaders by delegating. Your goal is not to build your kingdom. Your goal is to empower others by giving them opportunities to lead and teach by building His Kingdom.
Lose votes and arguments.
Delegating authority means ceding a measure of control. And if you’re willing to do that, you need to be willing to lose votes or not always have the last word. Not everything must go your way. If you never let people lead in a way contrary to your own opinion, you’re not really letting them lead! So, yes, you might be disappointed to lose on this or that issue, but the gain of encouraging other leaders to lead is a better long-term investment (not to mention it blesses the church with the gifts of their wisdom).
Cultivate respect for other leaders.
Our Prayer at ATKOG is that you will be proactive in this area.
The Right Question For Growth
The Right Question: What is keeping my church from growing?
Healthy organisms grow. If you feel stagnation setting in, barriers are inhibiting your growth. Implement a plan to remove them.
Now that you’re asking the right question, I encourage you to make one affirmative decisions.
Decision No. 1: I believe God wants to grow my church.
Second Peter 3:9 (NLT) tells us: “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” Your church is part of that redemptive plan. Of course, God wants it to grow. Growth signals repentance and life change.
Does thinking about the next barrier you’re facing scare you into inactivity? Don’t get discouraged. God never gives us a vision without supplying what we need to fulfill it.
When you’re asking the right question, and you know in your core that both you and God want your church to grow, nothing can stop you—but growth barriers can definitely slow you down.
So whether you are growing a small church in the suburbs or a megachurch in a big city, you need to be able to recognize these growth barriers and know how to meet them head-on.
Growth Barrier #1: Space
Space is the most fundamental barrier we all face—and the easiest to overlook.
As church leaders, we love full rooms, so we say, “Pack ’em in, there’s still a few seats!” But the truth is that when a room reaches 70 percent of its seating capacity, it’s full.
Here is a four-step exercise to perform frequently as your church grows:
Step 1: Determine how many seats you have in your main worship space.
Step 2: Multiply that number by 0.7 (70 percent).
Step 3: Determine how many people you averaged in attendance over the last month.
Step 4: Is the number in Step 3 greater than the number in Step 2? If the answer is yes, you’ve got to open up more seats or find a larger location—fast.
Starting a second service too early usually does more damage than good, so don’t think of it as an easy fix.
For example, let’s say a church of 120 decides to start a second service. Inevitably, one service will have 100 people and the other one will have 20—it’s impossible to equally divide two services, although careful choice of service times does play a part. Over time, the 20 people will be disappointed with the small crowds and filter back into the larger service.
The better choice for a church of 120 is to find a larger space and grow to 300 or 400 before starting a second service. I encourage churches to be willing to move.
Growth Barrier #2: Stopped Progression
Growing churches are led by growing leaders. So, if you’ve stopped progressing personally, your church is not far behind.
An organization can never outpace the inherent qualities of its leader.
When a pastor isn’t growing:
Set a reading goal that will stretch you—perhaps a book a month—and spend focused time in the areas of theology, church history and philosophy, in addition to reading your Bible.
Also, schedule time to attend key conferences and plan opportunities to seek out and meet with mentors. Personal development is essential not only for your own health and balance, but also for the growth of your church.
Growth Barrier #3: Sharing
Churches stop growing when they become inwardly (instead of outwardly) focused.
If you notice a decline in your number of first-time guests and an increase in discussion of inwardly focused programs, beware! You are about to fall victim to the sharing barrier.
In my experience, healthy growing churches will have a ratio of five first-time guests to every 100 regular attendees. So, if you are averaging 200 people per week, you should average 10 first-time guests per week.
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Watch this ratio carefully, and take its waning as a warning sign.
When this barrier starts blocking your growth, here are some ways you can break through it:
Growth Barrier #4: Staff
If your congregation suddenly doubled in size, would you have the necessary staff members to serve them?
To keep your church moving forward, you will need to hire people on faith, so you’ll be prepared to receive the harvest God wants to send you.
Hiring staff is truly a faith issue. Many pastors want to put off staff hires until they have the money in place to support the positions. Sounds like a practical plan, but, unfortunately, it doesn’t work. You will never have enough money in advance to hire the staff you need.
To overcome this barrier, change your perspective on what it takes to hire a new staff person. Say you need to fill a position that would require a $48,000 salary. Don’t look at it as a yearlong position.
Instead, think in three-month blocks. If you approach the new position as a three-month, $12,000 risk instead of a $48,000 risk, you will be more comfortable filling it. Then, if the staff person you hire is good, the position will begin paying for itself after three months.
When you approach staffing with a faithful heart, you’ll be much more prepared to handle the growth God brings you.
May this encourage you and bless you on your journey.
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