This morning I was again reminded why we created 200churches.com back in January of this year. In a leadership email I received this morning, I read about one church that sent out 7,000 volunteers for a weekend of service, in lieu of their regular worship services, and another church that started in 2005 with 6 people, that now runs over 3,000 people. Thank God for those stories. Truly, thank God!
Those kinds of emails are expected, right? I mean, who wants to read about a weekend worship service where 74 people showed up, and a new volunteer greeted and welcomed people for the first time? We don’t write about those happenings. Wait a minute… we do write about those experiences here at 200churches.com.
It’s too easy for 200church pastors to read emails like that and come away with a significant sense of failure or guilt at not achieving the same kinds of results. To be fair, we have to be mature, grow up, and rejoice in what God is doing in the largest of churches around the world and in our country, state, and even community. Praise God! We should pray for them, encourage them, and even send people their way if we feel it would serve them better.
It’s easy to rejoice at the success of a smaller church. It’s easy to partner with, or send people to, a church that is smaller than our own. That’s easy. It’s another story to rejoice with a church across town that has doubled in attendance over the same time period that our own has decreased. I can hear my expressive friends saying “Come on! That’s right! Preach it Brother! Hello! Holler!” You know it’s true. We want smaller churches to...
No leader wants to admit that their church is selfish, but unfortunately many churches out there are. A selfish church is one that is inward focused, always worrying about internal issues and situations, completely forgetting the surrounding culture and their Biblical mission to be the hands and feet of Jesus into the world. Selfish churches are scary places and most of the time have a toxic environment. Luckily, there's an antidote.
This week on the Podcast we talk about the mission trip that Jonny led to Des Moines last week, and how service projects and mission trips are pivotal to moving a church away from being inward facing to being outward facing. We broke the types of projects that a church can do into two categories that, although different, should be integrated with one another: social and evangelistic.
Social projects or trips are primarily focused on serving a person or community without any explicit evangelism. Evangelistic projects or trips are focused primarily on sharing the good news of Jesus. We at 200churches believe that churches must be focused on BOTH of these missions and we believe that Matthew 25 and 28 point us in that direction. We must make disciples, but can't forget physical needs in the process.
So why aren't more churches focused on missions? We believe the answer is that changing a culture feels like too daunting of a task! To go from no service projects or missions trips (aka being a selfish church) to being an outward facing church is a big jump, right?
Well, not necessarily.
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