By Pastor Bob Myers
At the State of Our Church gathering, I identified three challenges that I think the Lord wants us to take on.
- Say Yes to whatever Jesus is asking you to do to help accomplish Covenant’s vision. Part of what makes Covenant so great is that we have great diversity in spiritual experience and growth so that what fits one person may be the opposite for another person. For one person, getting into a Community Group where they can learn how to apply scripture to life is the next step in growth. For another person, it’s to stop attending multiple groups and joining a neighborhood book club where they can build loving friendships and live out their faith in a more intentional way.
- Help us be sticky. People may attend a church for a season because of what they get from the platform and programs, but ultimately, we stay where we develop relationships. Help Covenant minister the way you’d want your most beloved non-Christian friend to receive ministry. Remember what it was like to not believe. Remember the chain of people who helped you integrate truth with life. Be one of those persons for someone else.
The most crucial and important ministry leader we need to multiply right now are excellent small group leaders. There is no place in our church that has more impact than in our Community Groups.
If you want one simple action that generally predicts the level of satisfaction someone has in their church attendance try this: Come ten minutes early and stay ten minutes late. Look to INVEST IN PEOPLE, enlarge your capacity to get to know and invite others into their next step. USE MYCOVENANT and give us a picture. MyCovenant is the means of making connection with each other easier.
- Champion Covenant’s Vision and Values.
HOLD TIGHTLY TO OUR VISION, the GOSPEL AND THE BIBLE, and hold everything else loosely. That means, recognize what never changes, as well as accept joyfully what always changes… We want to be the church that will do whatever it takes to fulfill our vision except for compromising scripture. I don’t know what all of the things that will change will be, but I can tell you that change is hard for all of us. Every time a church makes adjustments that helps its outreach, discipleship and care for one another expand it brings challenges internally to those already here.
But the test for a dynamic church is whether it is willing to make it more important to reach the outsider than please the person who is on the inside and wants church to revolve around their needs. The changes required for outreach always test our level of discipleship.
The greatest way to neglect the needs of those already here is to fail to function missionally. Ironically, the greatest way to neglect the needs of those already here is to allow them to think church revolves around them.
To be like Christ we have to have an outward focus. We have to be willing to leave our comfort zone for a win that is of greater value.
I can identify with being tested in this. I have not loved all the changes we have had to make in order to grow over the past ten years, but I love the kind of church that makes us. It makes us the kind of church positioned to reach our community.
One thing I prize about how you respond is you cheer this vision on. When you experience it, see it, or see a staff member lead in accordance with this goal it stokes your enthusiasm and you ask for more.
Finally, in this article, I want to thank our Executive Pastor Rob Bloss who brought together our first State of Our Church gathering and skillfully crafted and executed all the elements that made it such an impactful evening. Thank you to each of our leaders who took part.
A highlight of the evening for all of us was to hear firsthand from various leaders. As they shared, another highlight for me was to hear you break out in spontaneous applause and cheers as they talked about the vision and values that make Covenant unique. That communicated boatloads of encouragement to all who lead.
Watch the State of the Church Gathering: