Thursday, November 5, 2009

What's the secret?

I spend a lot of time talking with pastors and other church leaders. In our circles we often look up to the fast growing large churches. In my conversations with other pastors I always hear this speculative question, "I wonder what's the secret to their success?" It is almost like we assume that there is some secret ingredient that if applied to our environment will cause immediate growth. This can lead to imitation of another ministry without personal inspiration from God! Today during my quiet time I was challenged today by a statement John the baptizer made in response to the growth of his ministry... He said this, "A man can receive only what is given to him from heaven." 

What a powerful statement about ministry and life. Ultimately whenever there is a ministry that is multiplying, lives are being changed and things are going up and to the right, behind this is a team of people who are receiving a gift from God. When we see life and ministry this way, we no longer ask the question, "what is the secret sauce?" We can shift our attention to ask this question, "what is the fabric of a life and ministry that God blesses?" What is going on in the hearts and minds of a person who is positioned to receive what God wants to give? When we think like this we maintain humility when our ministry grows and we give praise when others look to us for answers. One of my mentors said, "none of us are experts, just a bunch of people trying to change the world and live in the favor and blessing of God." I want to give credit to God for our growth! I want to make sure that people know God is the author of this movement and He is the one changing lives. It's not some system or strategy. I love systems and strategies, I think they're both very important. But at the bottom of what God is doing in our church is a group of people who desparately want to see God move. A group of people that are willing to sacrifice everything to make our one life count. It's not a formula. It's a movement born out of pain, tears, passion, faith, and prayer. Today I want leaders to live with an urgency about the blessing of God upon our lives. Fruitfulness doesn't happen if there isn't faithfulness. May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be favorable towards the giver of every good and perfect gift!