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Great is Thy Effectiveness? (sample)

There's danger in rooting our identity in ministry rather than in Christ.
Store Code: TT47
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Type: Article

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Something's wrong. We pastors are the stewards, the spokespeople, the advocates of a message of hope, life, and peace. And yet so few of us seem to be experiencing these qualities in our own lives. Something's wrong. In a world saturated with fear, insecurity, and stress, we are to show a different way. And yet those at the center of the church are ...

To view this individual handout, please download the Resource, Fear of Failure.

Topics:Expectations, Focus, Goals, Measuring ministry, Motivation, Obedience, Reputation
Filters:Church board, Discipleship, Pastor, Volunteer
References:Exodus 20:2-13, John 6:66

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Displaying 1–5 of 8 comments

Rick Mann

November 02, 2010  12:10am

Important topic! Skye, I think your treatment here could be a little more nuanced. The best Christian leadership, be it found in the church, other Christian non-profits, or in the marketplace is probably a fascinating, both/and blend of data-driven decision making and mystical, spirit-empowered insight. Skye, you are more skilled than most of us at describing that mix. Let's work on avoiding the either/or polemics in search of a more balanced biblical tension.

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Bev Williams

July 22, 2010  7:35am

Great article by Skye Jethani. It is important not do the rating game in ministry. Compare ministries to Christ's mode. This was done well through the scriptures in article. We spend too much time moaning and not enough time praising the Lord for the harvests we do get...small or large.

Da n

July 22, 2010  7:28am

So true! I found peace in ministry when I gave up the idea that I am responsible for what only God can do. I do my due diligence and then relax and watch what God can do. We sow and plant and let him worry about the increase. 1 Cor 3:4-6

Paul Steen

July 21, 2010  11:36am

The pressure to perform may come from our understanding of the church in Acts. We all want to have a church experience like they did. God worked openly in their midst and added daily to their numbers. Some of us don't see God add anyone even monthly or yearly. Church leaders expect the pastor to bring in new people. Yet the pastors want to see God add people to the church and not some man-made device add people to the church. While we may reject transfer growth, for many that is all that is ever seen. The call to just be faithful often is nothing but an excuse for not seeing growth. Is there pressure to have measurable growth in our churches? Yes, that cannot be disputed. But can we find our identities solely in Christ while still facing that pressure? Yes, by God's grace we can. And that is the message from Skye Jethani.

Lee Brewer

July 19, 2010  11:49am

This is a tough line to draw in the sand. There is the unspoken and sometimes not-so-unspoken pressure to add new families. And I can understand that it is tough for the lay church congregation to accept just clocking down time until they decline to the point that they have passed the "point of no return" unless they receive amazing God intervention. Prayerfully we won't burn out valuable elder leaders by always making an empirical measurement, but equally hopefully we do not have this used as an excuse for ignoring or abandoning "The fight for souls". A church that just grew old and closed, lost the battle I enjoy younger families joining to replace the older members called home. That's good stability. Yet sadly I have watched large churches worship till closure. An old church that could seat 400 in Cleveland held their last service with 11. To me they missed the mark. We are called to give faithful service coupled with loving steps to spread God's word.

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