It’s beyond interesting to find myself in conversations with other pastors describing how life has been in the last year. Some are open and honest about the toil, but many are trying to portray their life in this season as if they were untouchable. Avoiding talks of struggle or pain or confusion in order to appear as if they’ve held it all together.
If I can speak bluntly, if you haven’t felt the aftershock of society in your personal life in this last year you aren’t living in reality. The Church of the future demands us to come to a realization of the very evident confusion and turmoil in and around us. Scars are visible to others even if we don’t come to terms with feeling them. This is essential in order to best build the parameters and depth of what the church going forward will need to progress.
If you’re staring at your empty parking lot wondering what steps to take to move forward here are three effective things to consider.
- Don’t misread waves.
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to sink. Just as waves are moved by the invisible, you are being pulled from something or pushed towards something. Waves lose their intimidation when seen as a tool, not torment. God pulls us from possible wrecks or pushes us towards powerful wins and he uses waves to do it.
Every field is empty before the next game starts. When looking at an empty parking lot, maybe it’s not a rescue mission but a restart of the game. What if the closed doors of the church is really a redirection to the front doors of our people? The truth is the struggle is always there, it just takes different forms. Approaching a wave with the wrong perspective will position us to miss out on the possibilities that wave could push us to.
Let’s not be too quick to jump ship in the storm, the push/pull we feel may just be a redirection.
- Be ready to change seats.
I get it, you’ve been leading in that department for so long that the pavement in your parking space has morphed to your wheel size. God can’t use us long term if we aren’t open to the short term. Every position in the church is temporary and everyday we need to be alert to the fact that God may be calling someone new to pick up what we currently are responsible for. Consider the fact that different seasons call for restructuring just as different plays call for different positions.
The church must continue to be dynamic in its offense. It’s ability to withstand the course of time is attributed to the leadership reaching a satisfied state in knowing they started building something they may never have the opportunity to see finished.
The most detrimental move you can make at this point is believing that you’re the only one who can make the changes that need to be made for your church to survive and come back thriving.
- Operate by your own blueprint.
There is a specially marked DNA on every pastor and church out there. You didn’t end up where you are simply because you applied to a job ad. You are leading where you are with the people you have because you’ve been called, assigned and positioned to be there. People don’t promote. God promotes. God never created anyone with a deficiency so you have everything you need to do it to get the job done.
That being said..
Pull yourself away from the comparison game. Eliminate the endless wishful scrolling through larger church feeds and stop living in the facade of believing your church is just like any other mega church. It’s not. The sooner you come to that realization, the sooner you’ll begin to discover the assigned giftings given to your team, your church in order to reach your community.
Lead your team and church with the mindset that there isn’t another one like it. Spend the time you used to waste wishing your team was like other churches, and re-invest that time developing your team to be the best it can be in this approaching season. If God wanted anyone else to lead it, you wouldn’t be where you are. Unroll the blueprint God has given you and get to work.