Have you been struggling in your church, but can’t understand why?
Maybe you’re doing what you believe God is calling you to do and you’re taking wise counsel from others, but there doesn’t seem to be any progress made?
This post might be for you.
I’ve been travelling and talking with a lot of church leaders over the past few years. In that time, I’ve seen four very distinct kinds of pastors:
1. Those who do the right thing in the right way
2. Those who do the right thing in the wrong way
3. Those who do the wrong thing in the right way
4. Those who do the wrong thing in the wrong way
Only one of those combinations opens the door for a healthy church. Let’s take a look at all four and see what happens with each one. They’re not as obvious as you might think.
1. The Right Thing In the Right Way
This is the winning combination.
Doing the right thing always comes first. But doing it in the right way is also critical.
For this to happen, the leader must first know and do God’s will for themselves and the church.
But knowing and doing the right thing is not enough. It also has to be done in the right way. We need to implement God’s will using the methods and systems that best fit the situation.
God’s Word never changes, so God’s will never changes. But how God’s will is implemented changes a lot, given a variety of circumstances.
Becoming a worshiping and praying church, for example, is always the right thing. But worship and prayer will look different in a downtown church in Nairobi, Kenya than in a rural church in Paducah, Kentucky. The same goes for a recent church plant compared to a church that meets in a 700-year-old cathedral. Or an on-the-beach church in Hawaii to an underground church in China.
The truth remains the same in all of them, but the worship and prayer styles will vary greatly.
When we start with knowing and doing the right thing, then act wisely and sensitively so that it is done in the right way within the context, a healthy church can bloom.
2. The Right Thing In the Wrong Way
Many good leaders of good churches struggle for years – even decades – because they’re in a rut without knowing it. Or they know it but are too stubborn to change it.
These are churches that have a great theological foundation. They love and honor God and his Word. They work hard and love people. But they’re gotten stuck.