This is also where I believe most churches hit a spiritual plateau. Everything seems great. People are getting along. Systems are smooth. But they’re slowly dying inside. And they don’t see the iceberg coming.
And why wouldn’t it work? There’s nothing the devil likes more than a church that feels great about itself, but is doing absolutely nothing spiritually. They’re in crisis, but don’t even know it, so they don’t try to fix it. Years can go by like this. They might even grow numerically and be asked to teach other churches how they did it.
This is where the closed door is often God’s greatest blessing. One of my regular prayers as a pastor is “God, if we see a common goal, but it isn’t your goal for us, stop us dead in our tracks.”
The Goal: Expand the Sweet Spot
Let’s end where we started. In Zone 1 – the Sweet Spot.
Never try to take the ideas from Zone 4 and move them into God’s heart. God has this stubborn streak in him, where he refuses to take ideas – even good ideas – that start with us, and put his seal of approval on them.
We need to start with God’s heart.
It’s important to ignore Zone 4 entirely. The work takes place in Zones 2 & 3. The rewards are in an expanded Zone 1.
The ultimate goal for any healthy church is to discover more of God’s heart together. To have fewer places where our desires are different than God’s desires.
It is a constant challenge. With significant risks. But the rewards are more than worth it.
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