The limiting factor in church growth is the weakest of any of the following competencies:
- Empowering leadership (vs. “power-grabbing”)
- Gift-oriented ministry (vs. “warm bodied servants”)
- Passionate Spirituality (vs. lukewarmness & apathy)
- Functional structures (e.g., people, not structures)
- Inspiring worship
- Holistic small groups
- Need-oriented evangelism
- Loving relationships
*The “staves” picture is that of an 8-staved water barrel that can only hold as much water as the lowest stave. Even if the barrel has the potential to hold 100 gallons, if one stave is broken off halfway, the barrel can only hold half. This material comes from Schwartz’s book Natural Church Growth.
Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
Imagine if Jesus had approached sharing the gospel the way we do. If He witnessed “our way,” He would have hoped she noticed there was something different about Him by the way he drank His water, and maybe asked Him about it.
Maybe she would have noticed His “My-Dad-created-the-world- in-6-days, what-did-your-dad-do?” T-shirt and asked him to explain it. Maybe she would have overheard Hillsong blaring through His iPod earbuds and asked what the lyrics meant.
I better stop before this gets preposterous.
I’m sure glad that Jesus didn’t do it the way we do.
Satan challenges God to deny Himself (His character) and destroy His people, but God never plays by the imp’s rules.
God doesn’t “stretch his hand” against everything of Job’s, but he does allow Satan to do so (which is totally in accordance with Satan’s character).
God sets the rules.
God’s outcomes prevail.
(See Job 1:11-12)
|—||Henry Ward Beecher|