There are few things more exciting in life than climbing these stairs! Not just any set of stairs, no, just one set of stairs.

These are the stairs that elevate a person from existing to fully being; from surviving to prevailing, from subsiding to prospering. This is the stairwell that leads to Upperoom Living.

Before a person can see things differently, they must be willing to “let go” and see things differently. RE-imagine.

Jesus said, “…few things are needed – indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”    Luke 10:42

Sadly, I know far too many people who are looking for a quick-fix; hoping for a magic pill of “Church Growth” to provide them a cure-all solution to the challenges they face in ministry. I know people who have been idled by life, until now they are convinced that their only hope for success is to become the recipient of a “miracle” [don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I just believe it will].

Friends, it is doubtful we will ever see a different view if we are not willing to make the grand-entry-stairjourney to change our view. Until our passion for a new view outweighs our fears of leaving what we’ve already seen, we’ll never know what God has in store for us at a new level.

You see, as long as we are content with first-floor living, nothing the Upperoom has to offer us will ever become our reality.

Leader, is it possible that we encounter our greatest spiritual warfare in the areas where we are most reluctant to steward apostolic practices? Are we confronted most in those areas where our “practices” could be most effective in producing alignment, ministry structure and order?  Is it possible that our paradigm for measuring our input, output, and impact are so skewed that we are employing 1980’s methodologies in hopes of meeting our 2017 expectations?

The enormity of this challenge is one of the top three concerns Church leaders are burdened with today. Most leaders still employ growth and health matrix that are primarily designed to measure people and purses, butts and bucks. The exclusivity of this matrix has expired. It is no longer the reliable standard of ‘commitment to ministry‘ it once was.

Church leaders must be empowered and given permission to reimagine “structure” if we intend to facilitate an Acts 2 growth experience! You’ve probably heard this, but it’s worth stating again, “We cannot expect different results repeating the same practices.”

I’m struck by the fact that there are leaders who demonstrate a giftedness in sharing Jesus and leading people to make a salvific decision. Many great leaders demonstrate real expertise in their employ of redemptive practices to provoke unbelievers to commit to a fresh start, a new beginning.  And yet, there seems to be less expertise in knowing “how” to teach Jesus until He becomes salvation “in” a process. I’m convinced that the constant pressure on leaders to intentionally produce practicing disciples is an overbearing burden that is leading to mass burnout and leadership exodus.

Discovering the strategies (schematic) on “how” to process people effectively is a key to exponential growth and sustainable ministry.

Today, leaders intuitively know that “preaching the Word” in “services” is not yielding the same results that previous generations enjoyed. And yet, because there has not been a moment set aside to consider and reimagine ministry in the context of current culture and our local environments, we see frustrated churches continue to employ a traditional model of ministry.  Why?

To answer the “why,” we must first ask, “Is the Pastor or Teaching Team insufficient?” I highly doubt it. Today’s leaders are better educated, they are more proficient, more refined, more skilled, more disciplined in ability than at any other time. They’re poise and delivery of content is most likely not the problem at all.  Most of the challenge is the “what” of content and the “how” of context, the challenge of “aligning” the message with the “strategies” that are proven to penetrate the white-noise of our culture.

For example, if we are effective at teaching “to” a salvation decision but we do not know how to effectively lead that believer to a commitment of “systematically” approaching their development, then we are forfeiting our greatest opportunity to lead them into the wonder of “new character in Christ Jesus.”  Their fruit of salvation is going to be manifested in the practices of their lifestyle.

We see this on a corporate level. If a local assembly embraces “salvation” without process, then the “Gospel” development of that people is dependent upon the impact of the “event” rather than the redemption being processed into a “new lifestyle.”

Leaders, if we are to lead America into renewal, if we are serious about preaching Jesus until men and women are transformed by His majestic power, then we must have an honest discussion about how effective we are in our “practices” of making disciples. If our “practices” don’t produce acceptable “measures,” then we should pause and reimagine our methods, re-examine our strategies, and clarify our mission.

Be encouraged as you pursue people for Jesus!Certified Navigator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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