Saturday, December 21, 2013



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Chances are you are already thinking about your goals for 2014.
And maybe you’re already wondering whether you’re actually going to hit them or not.
Why is that so many of us set out to accomplish something but fail to do as much as we’d hope?
The answer is simpler than you think.
It involves a dynamic few people talk about. But once you see it, things can begin to change. Radically.

secret to hitting your 2014 goals

You Encounter This Problem Every Time You Start Something New

Let’s say you get a new phone. Or a new car.
Here’s what happens. At least it happens to me, and I’m sure it’s happened to you as well:
The way I learn to use a device in the first 10 days is essentially the way I’ll use it for the rest of its life.
And as a result, I’ll leave 90% of its potential—or more—untapped. 
Here’s what I’ve discovered about myself. Whenever I get a new piece of technology,
I try to familiarize myself with it.
It try to ‘domesticate it’—to move it from an unknown to a known and controllable entity in a short span of time.
I don’t naturally try out it’s maximum capacity.
I simply find a few cool features and try to get it to behave in a predictable way.
Sound familiar?
Almost everyone does it.
As a result, within about 10 days, all the experimentation is gone.
We tell ourselves that we’ve mastered it. But we haven’t.
Our need for predictability killed our curiosity and innovation.

Change the Pattern…Change Your Life

So…what if the next time you get a new device, you decided to learn everything you could about it for 10 days? What if you read blogs, took tutorials, watched user videos and experimented with it endlessly without settling into any habits?
What would the next three years with that device look like? Better for sure. You’d be smarter, more efficient, more satisfied and get far more value out of it than usual.
But that approach only works if you’re willing to suspend habits for the first ten days and resist the drive to make everything easy and predictable.
Enough about devices.
Now the big question:
What if—for the first 21 days of 2014— you refused to settle into a pat routine with each of your key goals for the year? 
I’m convinced that one of the enemies of progress is routine. We are creatures of habit, but our habits (repeated patterns of behaviour) often take us to places we don’t want to go.
It takes 21 days to make a new (and better) habit.
What would it look like if the first 21 days of 2014 meant you launched a radical assault on the status quo:
What if:
You downloaded a new alarm app and set it for 5:30 a.m. and made no excuses?
You changed your meeting schedule so you could do something active 5 out of 7 days?
You studied how to do meetings for 3 weeks and did a post mortem on what worked and didn’t work in ever meeting in January and then redid how you do meetings?
You set up your calendar now to usher in a far better use of time next month?
You changed grocery stores and had to learn a new pattern of shopping – and you just never went down the chip aisle?
You used smaller plates for 21 days as a way to cut back portion size?
You gave away $50 a week you’re currently spending on yourself?
You changed your study practice when it comes to message prep?
You picked up a new bible (or got a new bible app or reading plan) and never missed a reading for 21 days?
You decided you not speak a critical word to your family or friends and every day just prioritized doing it?
You took a new route to and from work to give you more thinking time?
You can fill in the blanks for whatever you need to conquer, but you see the pattern, right?
Rethinking your patterns for the first 21 days of 2014 will set the pattern for how you spend the next 344 days of the year.
Your desire to domesticate the new year and make it predictable and ‘easy to use’ runs deep, and it will lead you to exactly where this year led you unless you attack that pattern. 2014 will be exactly like 2013 unless you intentionally change it.

Start Now to Be Ready Then

So why don’t you do that?
You could start now.
Create a list of your top goals.
Buy some books or get some help from friends and mentors in rethinking them.
Commit to no pattern until you find a new pattern…21 days into the new year. Circle the day on your calendar! Go!
And with those changes, 2014 could be radically different than any other year.
So get started now.
What do you want to change?
What are some other ideas on how to bring engineer the change you want to see?
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Friday, December 20, 2013

How Your Church Can PASTOR Your Guests This Christmas

Christmas at Saddleback
If the two times of the year that guests typically show up for a weekend church service are Easter and Christmas, then we have an evangelistic mandate to make the most of the opportunity to welcome them, show them grace and love, and initiate a relationship with them if at all possible. The problem is, the people who attend faithfully the other fifty Sundays of the year often forget about the priority of welcoming and greeting those who are attending for the first time.
One of the most valuable things church leaders can be doing right now is reminding their members about the fundamentals of receiving guests. And that starts with a basic understanding of the kind of guests you’re going to meet at your Christmas services.
  • There are those who come seeking – like the wise men
  • There are those who come surprised – like the shepherd
  • There are those who come distracted – like the innkeeper and his wife
  • There are those who come kicking and screaming – like Herod.
In other words, your crowd will include those who are present with family but don’t really believe, or at least they don’t believe that Jesus is for them. Others may be hurt and in pain, but they’re giving the message of Jesus another shot and you’re His spokesperson. And many more will be coming in an enthusiastic search of a message for their lives – a message of hope and a spiritual family that will love and include them.
The Bible is clear that when people visit your church this Christmas, they will be coming into at lest two things…
1. They will be walking into “great light” according to Matthew 4:16. They’re going to experience (hopefully) the joy, the love, and the laughter of God’s people. The effect of the light of Jesus needs to be evident.
2. They will be coming to hear “good news” according to Luke 2:10. They’re also going to hear the truth about Jesus proclaimed in a way that is relevant to their lives. So the goodness of the good news needs to be evident also.
Philippians 2:1-4 tells us about the kind of attitude with which we should meet people. What do they need from us? They need encouragement. They need comfort. They need fellowship – every one of them needs a church family. And they need tenderness and compassion.
The world is not the most encouraging place around the holidays and many people who visit your service will be suffering from discouragement and depression as they reflect on a difficult year, those they’ve lost, or as they struggle with the stresses of finances and making time for family in a busy month. They need a word of encouragement from your church – a pat on the back, a handshake, and maybe even a hug!
Here are six tips for your guests – take them to heart and pass them along to your team. ~Tweet About This~

P – Pray with people.

Ask people how they are doing. If the answer is anything other than the standard “fine,” ask if you can lead them in a brief, personal prayer.

A – Ask to help.

Ask if you can guide them to where they need to go or help them in any way.

S – Smile.

A smile, in itself, can be a ministry of encouragement to people.

T – Take the initiative.

Make the first move in approaching people to welcome them, help them, and bless them.

O – Open the door of faith.

One of the greatest things that can happen is to see lay ministers sharing the gospel and offering to lead people to faith.

R – Recognize other lay ministers.

Great teams experience mutual encouragement. Thank someone else who is serving.
And finally, remember what I said earlier on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Tonight I'm praying for you who'll preach the Good News at Christmas services around the world. 

9:04 PM - 18 Dec 2013


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Turn Christmas Visitors into January Members

Hal Seed more from this author »

Here's how to bring them back before Easter!
Christmas visitors are not like normal visitors.
Every year a significant percentage of them will leave your Christmas services with good feelings, but no thoughts of returning. They came because it was the thing to do. They don’t expect to be back until Easter.
How can you change those expectations so they’ll return sooner?
Answer: You can’t. Only God can change a human heart.
But you can help that heart change.

1. Make A Good First Impression.

Whether they know it or not, visitors want to be greeted, directed, seated and treated.
Some years ago, while New Song was still meeting in a school, I experienced a pastor’s greatest nightmare: I arrived at our site without my notes! I jumped back in the car, grabbed my sermon and dashed back to church just as the service was starting.
Before I got five steps from my car, I was greeted by Brooks Bodie. He’d been greeting guests like that for a long time, but I had never experienced it before. His kind smile and encouraging words convinced me that I would want to be part of this church even if I weren't on staff.
Greeting: Rick Warren’s goal is to have every guest greeted five times on their way in and three on their way out. If your church is smaller, you can scale that accordingly.
Directing: Visitors want to know three locations: Where are the children’s rooms? Where are the bathrooms? And where is the auditorium?
Last week I asked a Walmart clerk where I could find a particular item. She surprised me by walking me to the exact aisle. That left me with such a good impression that I’m now telling you about it!
Good signage can help with this, but nothing beats a smile, a handshake and an offer to show me where I need to go.
Seating: Walking into a church auditorium can feel awkward. A sparsely populated room makes me feel self-conscious. A densely populated makes it hard to find a seat. Both problems are diminished by the help of a friendly usher who suggests a particular seat or section and walks me there.
Treating: If first impressions are important, so are last impressions. At New Song, we offer every first time guest a copy of The God Questions, Gift Edition. It’s a small gift book (available from Outreach, Inc.) that reads easy and answers the five major questions people have about God.
Most weekends, we put the books by the door or offer them at our Information Counter. But on Christmas Eve, I stand at the front of the church and offer to sign the gift page and give a free copy to all newcomers. This gives me a chance to say a personal word to every guest who is willing to come up after the service.

2. Invite Them To Christ.

The one force that can change a person’s mind about church attendance is the Holy Spirit. I believe every church should present an invitation to Christ at every Christmas, Easter and funeral service.
Many churches miss this opportunity.
But your Christmas visitors expect you to talk about Jesus. So explain how Jesus wants to have a relationship with them and the benefits they’ll receive from bowing down to him (salvation, forgiveness, peace, etc.).
This can be scary the first time you try it, but the rewards of seeing someone come to Christ will quickly convince you to be bold every chance you get!

3. Connect With Them Afterward.

During every service, we ask everyone to fill out a Connection Card. I email all guests within 48 hours. A member of our First Impressions Team also calls them. And two days later, I send a personal note in the mail. The note tells them what we’ll be covering the next weekend, and includes a coupon for the movie To Save A Life, which they can redeem in our bookstore.
My favorite memory from last year’s Christmas services comes from a young Marine named George. George and his wife received Christ in one of our services. When I emailed him on the 26th, he responded that he wanted to sing in church soon. I’m hesitant to put an unknown artist on our stage, so I thanked him and told him one of our Worship Pastors would be in touch.
A few days later I heard the story: “George is good! He’ll be singing next weekend!” After receiving Christ, George went home and wrote a song about what had just happened to him.
His wife had recently miscarried. They came to church desperate, and God met them there. Now they were experiencing the peace that surpasses understanding.
May you have many Georges visit your church this Christmas! 

Hal Seed
Dr. Hal Seed is founding pastor of New Song Community Church in Oceanside, CA. In the past three years, New Song has seen over 2,000 people make first time decisions for Christ. Hal is the author ofFuture History: Understanding the Book of Daniel and End Times Prophecy, Jonah: Responding to God, as well as The God Questions. Each of these books is being used in small groups and church-wide campaigns around the country.


Monday, December 16, 2013

The Book of Proverbs has a lot to say about productivity. Not only does it teach us how we can be more productive, it teaches how we can be more biblically productive.

Some of these principles you can find in secular productivity literature today. (Indeed, many of the proverbs can be found in secular ancient Near East literature, verbatim.) But seeing them in God-breathed Scripture reminds us to adopt those principles with a God-centered perspective. Other principles in the list don’t get as much ink or pixels in productivity books or blogs. Let us consider how to incorporate those in our mindset and our workflow, so that we can glorify God all the more in the work that we do.

22 Productivity Principles from Proverbs

1. Productivity is a result of intrinsic motivation and self-direction. “Tools” won’t turn you into a productivity guru.

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. (Prov. 6:6-8)

2. Resist the temptation to continually chase new ideas. Focus on the responsibilities you have been called to do. Put the gifts and talents you have been given to work.

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. (Prov. 12:11)

3. Being responsible and diligent will probably lead you to opportunities for greater influence and leadership.

The hand of the diligent will rule, while the slothful will be put to forced labor. (Prov. 12:24)
Do you see a man skillful in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men. (Prov. 22:29)

 4. Productivity is messy. Don’t confuse being organized with being productive.

Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox. (Prov. 14:4)

5. But when everything is a mess all the time, that is a sign that you are not being productive.

I passed by the field of a sluggard, by the vineyard of a man lacking sense, and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. Then I saw and considered it; I looked and received instruction. (Prov. 24:30-32)

6. In productivity – as in all things – talk is cheap. Don’t tell me your life mission statement, tell me the one step you took yesterday toward your most important goal or project.

In all toil there is profit, but mere talk tends only to poverty. (Prov. 14:23)

7. Laziness not only leads to less productivity, it creates obstacles for productivity. On the other hand, the more productive you are, the easier being productive becomes.

The way of a sluggard is like a hedge of thorns, but the path of the upright is a level highway. (Prov. 15:19)

 8. Productive people are not know-it-all’s. They understand they will get better results if they get other people’s advice

Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed. (Prov. 15:22)

9. Planning is important. Planning shouldn’t be avoided on account of God’s sovereignty, nor should you elevate planning as if we can direct our destinies.

The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. (Prov. 16:1)
Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. (Prov. 16:3)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand. (Prov. 19:21)

10. Thoughtful progress over the long haul is better than quick bursts of effort that lack direction.

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty. (Prov. 21:5)

11. Laziness is not neutral; ultimately it is destructive. It wastes time, money, and other valuable resources.

Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys. (Prov. 18:9)

12. The love of sleep is the root of all unproductivity.

Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread. (Prov. 20:13)

13. An unproductive person reaches the height of his creativity while making excuses.

The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!” (Prov. 22:13)

14. A productive person finishes what he starts. The lazy person can’t complete the smallest of tasks.

The sluggard buries his hand in the dish; it wears him out to bring it back to his mouth. (Prov. 26:15)

15. The productive person knows that certain seasons call for certain kinds of work.

The sluggard does not plow in the autumn; he will seek at harvest and have nothing. (Prov. 20:4)

16. Productivity doesn’t mean everything always goes smoothly. It means you plow through the tough days to get something done.

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. (Prov. 24:10)

17. Being productive is not just about knowing what to do, but knowing the order and priority of what should be done.

Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. (Prov. 24:27)

18. The vastness of your plans and aspirations are not the mark of your productivity. It is about what you actually accomplish.

Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring. (Prov. 27:1)

19. Though perhaps not in the short term, in the long term it is more productive to prevent the disaster that you see coming in the future.

The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Prov. 27:12)

20. Don’t be ostentatious with your productivity habits. You’ll annoy everyone around you!

Whoever blesses his neighbor with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, will be counted as cursing. (Prov. 27:14)

21. Mundane chores and maintenance activities are an important part of being productive.

Whoever tends a fig tree will eat its fruit, and he who guards his master will be honored. (Prov. 27:18)

22. It is possible to be productive without looking like a productivity guru. Probably the most productive people are those who don’t need tools, apps, etc. Don’t try to look productive. Just get your work done!

Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a people not mighty, yet they make their homes in the cliffs; the locusts have no king, yet all of them march in rank; the lizard you can take in your hands, yet it is in kings’ palaces. (Prov. 30:24-26)

(Image credit)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Avoiding the Coming Tsunami of Church Closure

In 1964 Bob Dylan released his third studio album “The Times, They Are a-Changin’.” As was typical of the music from the 1960s, political and cultural statements and protests were the norm. The times were changing. Some for the better (i.e. the Civil Rights Movement.) Others, maybe not (i.e. the sexual revolution.) Nevertheless, songs such as this and others that gained popularity became themes for a generation in flux.
Churches changed as well over time. Some for the better. Others. . .well maybe not. Over the last few decades we have seen the advent of the church growth movement, the growth of para-church organizations, the birth and subsequent death (well, basically) of the emergent church, the focus on being seeker-sensitive, the development of labels such as “traditional” and “contemporary” when it comes to worship styles (which by their nature are labels that mean different things to differnt people) and categorical shifts in emphases in areas such as youth ministry, family ministry, men’s and women’s ministries, and the like.
There are always those voices that speak of needed adjustments in church practice as culture changes. Some have wrongly attributed these changes to keeping the message “relevant.” That’s a misnomer. The Gospel is always relevant and always will be. The local church, however, that has been accused of sliding into irrelevancy often is just a victim of becoming an inwardly-focused organization that has forsaken the missional commands of the New Testament.
Hurry Up, We Have To Do Something!
Unfortunately, many churches realize they are on life support when it’s too late. Of course, with God, it’s never too late. I get that. However, I have been in numerous churches over the years, full of nice, loving people who have forgotten their mission. They gather, listen to sermons, go to Sunday school, worship through giving and singing, while the community surrounding them really doesn’t even notice they exist. Then, as if finally awakened from a deep sleep, they acknowledge they have had far more funerals in their building recently than baptisms and begin to see the writing on the wall. Something has to be done.
In some cases, these well-meaning believers hire a young pastor or maybe an associate pastor with the instructions to reach “those people out there.” It’s a noble gesture, but often doesn’t match true expectations. While the new pastor may have the greatest intentions to reach the community, and with the backing of those who called him to do just that, he often discovers the message given and the actual expectations are different.
While the instructions were to “reach those people out there” the actual, non-verbal instructions were “reach those people, but don’t force us to change anything in here.”
I have talked with numerous young ministers who have experienced this very thing. In most cases, they don’t last in these churches. In the most severe cases, they find themselves out of ministry fully.
Reaching Millenials While Keeping Boomers & Busters
Generational differences are real and as the times change they become more and more evident. Many church leaders track these trends, but others discover them naturally as one generation matures and the next steps into leadership roles. A church that only reaches an older generation will have a room full of wisdom and potentially no debt, but will not be as effective in reaching younger people in the community.
Conversely, a church thath only reaches Millenials will have a lot of energy and will “Like” ministries and movements that address social issues such as trafficking and justice, but will find it difficult to finish any significant task and may discover the funding to lack for all areas.
I’m not throwing stones. I’m simply stating facts. The Pew Research Center, as well as other surveying groups, have affirmed that young people (ages 18-29) are less religiously affiliated than any other generation in our nation. Unfortunately, the trending is that this number will continue to decline. The statistics mirror that which has been happening in Europe for decades. The times, they are a-changin’ it seems.
The Nones
The rise of the “Nones” is alarming for those within the church. We discussed this last Saturday during our prayer gathering.
So, how does a church that desires to “be all things to all people” so that we may reach some for the Gospel, do this? How does an established church with almost a century of history adjust processes and programming in order to remain effective ambassadors for Christ in this culture? The answer may seem simple. It may even sound like a cliche, but when lived out fully, it is not. It is the Gospel in action. Regardless of generational makeup or church culture, living missionally is the key. It leads to viewing the community surrounding one’s church as the mission field. This inevitably leads those within the church to begin living as missionaries. Perhaps this is what God meant when he called us his ambassadors?
Living missionally removes the typical church marketing strategies that intend to sell a program or ministry to a community that doesn’t want or think they need it. No longer are church members bragging about their great church or the ministries offered. Here’s a newsflash – lost people aren’t thinking about the church and therefore, do not view what the church has to offer as something they need, much less want.
Living missionally leads Christ-followers to love their neighbors and to offer that which they do need – the good news of Jesus Christ. The Gospel! That changes everything.
Avoiding the Tsunami
I have seen a number of local churches in our city take steps to avoid the coming tsunami. These churches are different from the ones described above in one very significant way. These senior saints desire to see those in their changing community reached and are willing to sacrifice “their” church for the sake of the Kingdom. It’s an amazing transition. By sacrificing the concept of it being “their” church, they are affirming the reality that they are God’s church and the mandate given by Christ in the Great Commission is as valid today as ever. These “traditional” churches with a majority of older members are as relevant, and perhaps even moreso, as any “contemporary” church in the community.
Know the Times
In reading Pastor Mark Driscoll’s latest book, A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?, some points really struck me the culture.
  • It is estimated that one quarter of unmarried women between the ages of 29 and 39 are currently living with a partner and about half have lived at some time with an unmarried partner.
  • Over half of first marriages are now preceded by cohabitation.
  • Over 60% of high schoolers “agree” or “strongly agree” that cohabitation before marriage is a good idea.
  • Churches that market themselves as a great place for the entire family, with service times on Sunday morning that work for young families, a great kids’ program, rocking student ministry, family camps, and daytime Bible studies for stay-at-home moms, are inadvertently telling the majority of Americans – singles – they are not welcome and to say away.
These points, and many others from various sources, all echo that which we know to be true – the western church is in trouble. In many cases, it is on life support, surviving on the tithes and attendance of an older generation while lamenting the fact that reaching the young, uncommitted “nones” is not easy.
Whoever said it would be easy?
God has promised that His church would prevail. However, he never promised that the local gathering on the corner that meets in a building with the name “church” on it would always be around. In fact, according to history, every local fellowship has a shelf-life. You don’t see anyone talking about the current work of the great church in Corinth or Ephesus any longer, do you?
So, while we’re here, we are called to honor God, spread the Gospel and do whatever it takes to be His uncompromising ambassadors in the community he has placed us. That focus and appropriate action will help us avoid the coming tsunami.
It must be less about “our” church and more about His.
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About David Tarkington
David Tarkington is the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Orange Park, Florida. He has served on the pastoral staff at First since January 1994. Beginning in 2005, David began serving as the Senior Pastor.
David serves as the leader of the EngageJax Network's Expand Team. EngageJax is the network of Baptist churches focused on leading churches to engage the city of Jacksonville, Florida for the sake of the Gospel.
David is a graduate of the University of North Texas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
David is married to Tracy and they have two children, Ashley and Daniel.
First has led out in the community as a missional church through school partnerships, community adoption and crisis ministry. David has led First to focus on three primary foci - Orphan Care, Global Missions and Church Planting.

4 Steps to a Healthy Church Culture

photo credit: leoncillo sabino
“Love, Listen, Learn, and Lead!  That is why we are here!”  When I heard those words at a recent Global Vision Summit with Dynamic Church Planting International, it resonated with my heart.  It caused me to think through how important the order is and the process of creating a healthy culture in our congregations and ministries.  These four ingredients are paramount to moving our churches towards being healthy and reproducing.  Every church must be driven by the Great Commission and recapture their vision to live on mission for God!
First, Love!  We need to love our congregations and our communities.  When Jesus looked on the multitudes He was moved with compassion.  When you look at the people around you, are you broken hearted for them or are you just angry at them?  Love your city enough to get involved and see it transformed one changed life at a time.  We should love living where we live and not be trying to just tough it out or living in survival mode.
What impact could you have for Christ in the schools, in city government, in times of crisis, in local restaurants, and with the local policemen and firemen, to name a few?  We are good at scolding but how good are we at loving them?  People need to know that Jesus loves them and we love them.  They need to know how deeply we care about them and are committed to them.  Love means we are excited to live as missionaries in our zip code!
Second, Listen!  The key is to stop always telling and start listening.  You show people how much you value them and care about them by listening to their story.  Alvin Reid in ReVITALize says, “The churches I observe who need revitalization have tended to reduce the gospel to the most brief and simple of presentations possible and tend to share the gospel with people they hardly know…”  Who do I know that needs a listening ear?  Who needs a shoulder to cry on?
Most people have moved past mass production and are looking for relationships.  Our society now lives in the coffee shops where they can share their stories in community.  They do not want a sales pitch but rather a more comprehensive perspective of the gospel by explaining creation, the fall, and how they can be rescued through Christ alone.  But this demands our willingness to sit down with them, listen to them, and build a relationship with them.
Third, Learn!  If we love the city and community we live in then we need to ask some very important questions.  What is our city’s history?  What are the values of the community we live in?  What dreams and aspirations do the people who live here have?  How can our congregation minster to them in practical ways that displays the love of Christ?  How effective are we at reaching our communities for Christ?  What is working and what needs fixing?
We must fight the temptation to continue using methods that are no longer effective.  Many churches appear to be more concerned about maintaining their traditions than in pursuing people outside their walls and bringing to them the life-transforming gospel of Jesus Christ.  When will we learn that the pain of slow death is worse than the pain of change?  Moving a church from an inward focus to an outward focus is a major spiritual endeavor but is worth it!
Fourth, Lead!  Here is the problem; many Christians believe their church exists for them!  You hear from them, “What about me?”  But spiritually mature Christians are asking, “What about them?” and are involved in the process of making disciples.  The answer is not in scolding them because they are doing what they have been shown to do and what has been modeled.  If living on mission were really valued than we would have already made the necessary changes.
The center of the church is Jesus Christ not us.  Leaders in the church need to recall the membership to the reason we exist; to make disciples who make disciples!  It begins by loving, learning, and listening to our congregations and our communities.  Leading requires loving confrontation with the truth that maintenance, status quo, and being inwardly focus is living in disobedience to Christ’s commands!
Healthy cultures love, listen, learn and lead!