A Total Implementation Schedule
PART TWO: DO IT NOW!
By: Tim Massengale
I wonder how many pastors and church leaders would have bought this material had it been entitled, “HOW TO HAVE AN AVERAGE CHURCH,” or “HELPING YOUR CHURCH DECLINE.” None, I am sure. Oh, you might have glanced at it out of curiosity to see what foolhardy soul put the volumes together, but you would not have spent your hard earned money. After all, who needs help to be average? We already have multitudes who fit this category. What you want is for your church to be it’s best!
How do you become an “average church?” Do nothing. Place these two volumes – and any others like it – back on your bookshelf, perhaps the bottom shelf (that way you won’t be tempted to get them out again), and forget them. It’s like being lost – to be eternally lost all you need to do is nothing. But to go to heaven, you must do something. And so, too, with Apostolic revival. Having read this material, you must begin implementing it. This will involve work, sweat, late hours, long days, a determined heart, and a fixed focus upon a desired result. That’s what it takes to be your best.
I could try to wax eloquent upon the importance of this and yet never say it as well the late president Theodore Roosevelt. Allow me to adapt a portion his well known speech to that of the work of God:
“It is not the religious critic who counts; nor the hypocrite who gleefully cries “How the mighty have fallen,” or the one who points out where a “doer of deeds” could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the battle; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who actually tries to do the right thing; who knows great anointing, great commitment, who spends himself in the work of God; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while giving his best.
Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious spiritual triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy or suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows nether victory or defeat.”
How true! Such can be said of any effort worthy of our time and energy. Like navigating an automobile through a busy city – at times we must make a correction here, make a turn there, then stop at an intersection and look both ways before proceeding. Occasionally a road block will force us to take a detour, yet we keep on going. We may have a flat tire, or engine problems. We stop and make the needed repairs, yet we keep on going. We might make a wrong turn and have to backtrack, yet we keep on going. There is always the risk that someone else will not stop at an intersection and plow into us. It’s not our fault, but that’s part of the risk. We keep on going. It’s the steady, determined pace, not the mad, frantic rush, that proves to be successful in the end.
Once a man was asked why he had done so well. To this he replied, “I have worked so hard and tried so many things that I have successfully crammed forty years of failure into fifteen.” To grow, a pastor must be willing to try, fail, and try again. Like the prophet, they will cry, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise!”
And so it will be with Total Church Growth. Not every ministry or program will be exactly what you need. It will have to be adapted, altered, and made to properly fit. Adjust what you must to make it work in your church and community, but cling tightly to the underlying principles. And above all, don’t give up! You can grow!
“You will never stub your toe standing still. The faster you go, the more chance there is of stubbing your toe, but the more chance you have of getting somewhere.” – Charles F. Kettering
THE SUCCESSFUL PASTOR
Success leaves clues. As I have studied growing churches, I find certain qualities that appear over and again. Each successful pastor applies them in their own way. Some are stronger in one area than others. Few pastors have all of them. Yet of the following ten, the growing pastor will usually manifest seven or eight.
As I have said before: the growth of a church will rise or fall upon it’s leadership. A growing church has a growing pastor. No church rises above it’s leadership. A pastor must strive to improve himself in body, mind, and spirit.
As you read through these, check off the traits that you currently possess in some useful measure. Circle those that are lacking. Then realize, none of these are “natural.” Great men of God are not born, they are made. Qualities such as these are purposefully developed and strengthened. The Spirit can transform the man if he is willing to subject himself to the wheel of the Master Potter. If a man will fast and pray, feed his mind and spirit what he desires to become, the Holy Ghost will do the rest.
1. The growing pastor is a man of humility. In the word of God, great men were not boasting men. They knew they were nothing in themselves and great only through God. Paul said, “For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle.” Jacob said, “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies.” David said, “Who am I, O Lord God? And what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto?” Solomon said, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in.”
Rather than boasting, you will more likely have to pry stories of great achievements out of great men. They are content to let their track record speak for itself.
2. The growing pastor is a man of personal discipline. The one who supervises others must first learn to supervise himself. Growing pastors are disciplined in prayer, study, soulwinning, and managing their time. They nether burn out nor coast along. They have achieved a balance in their lives. They know that they must feed the whole man – physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual. They insure that each of these needs are met.
3. The growing pastor is a man of vision. They are men possessed with a dream, not of their own making, but given to them by God. They, like Abraham, are willing to step out into the unknown and be led by the Spirit. They know that “without a vision, the people parish,” and they apply the word “people” both to their church, as well as the lost.
4. The growing pastor is a man of confidence. Not simply in himself, but in his people and in his God. He is confident that the path he walks is God’s will. He is confident that whatever happens, God will be with him. And he is confident that he is able to accomplish the task that God has given him to do. Self-confidence is not unspiritual. Quite the contrary. The growing man of God has an honest belief in the gifts and talents given to him by God.
5. The growing pastor is a man of zeal. He has an inner fire. He burns with a spiritual passion. Like the prophet said of Jesus, “The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.” He pushes himself to the limit. He gets angry, but angry at the right things – like sin, injustice, incompetence (especially in himself), and Satan’s devices. He will drive out the money changer from the temple, denounce hypocrisy, and proclaim righteousness and truth without fear of retribution. Like Paul, he can “be angry, but sin not.”
6. The growing pastor is a man of integrity. His word can be counted on. He treats others as he wishes to be treated, regardless of how he was treated by them. He has high ministerial ethics. He is not a “sheep stealer,” but will always follow the guidelines agreed upon by his brethren He will not return evil for evil. He will not gossip (as the country saying goes, “when you throw dirt, you lose ground”). He will not listen to any accusations against an elder without two or three witnesses. He will not cheat others, his family, or his work.
7. The growing pastor is a man of courage. He is willing to take a measured risk. He will step out by faith, for he knows God’s promise to Joshua applies to him also: “Be strong and of good courage. . . . I will not fail you nor forsake you.”
The Bible is full of examples of courage. Daniel’s courage caused him to stand by his convictions. Moses displayed great courage by going before Pharoah in spite of personal fear. Abraham’s courage led him to journey into unknown territory at the age of seventy-five. But perhaps the greatest example of courage is that of Jesus our Lord:
* He confronted the religious leaders of His day, mincing no words (very risky).
* He claimed to be God (which ultimately cost Him His life).
* He spent time talking to tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, disabled, Samaritans, and others that most shunned (bring attacks upon his character).
* He was furious when the House of God was turned into a noisy market place (tampered with temple economics).
* He had the audacity to reach out and heal on the Sabbath (tampering with sacred tradition).
* He chose to love those who persecuted Him, mocked Him, and exposed Him to every indignity imaginable (definitely not the norm).
How about you, pastor? Are you willing to follow the Spirits leading, even in the face of ridicule? Are you willing to preach the truth and stand for holiness in spite of people’s opinions? Will you launch out into new ministries, outreach programs, and organizational plans even though some of them may not succeed? (But remember, if the Lord tells you to do it, you will succeed!) Will you set goals, dream dreams, make plans even though the carnal man says sit back and take your ease? If so, this is courage. And it’s this quality, along with the other six, that separates a great pastor from simply the average.
Toward the end of his illustrious career as Britain’s greatest prime minister, Sir Winston Churchill was invited to address the young boys at his alma mater. In announcing the coming of their great leader, the headmaster said, “Young gentlemen, the greatest orator of our time – perhaps of all time – our prime minister, will be here in a few days to address you; and it will behoove you to listen carefully to whatever sound advice he may bring to you at that time.”
Following a glowing and lengthy introduction by the headmaster, Sir Winston stood up – all five feet, five inches and 235 pounds of him. After acknowledging the effusive introduction, he gave this brief but moving speech: “Young men, never give up. Never give up! Never give up! Never, never, never, never!”
On the plains of hesitation,
Lie the bleached bones of thousands,
Who, on the very threshold of victory,
Sat down to rest,
And while resting, died.
Too often, in the seminars I have taught across the country, I see men slowly walk out the doors shaking their heads:
“Just another program,” mumbles one.
“Too risky,” says yet another.
“Too complicated,” complains a third.
“The carnal plans of man,” sniffs a fourth.
“It’ll never work in my church.”
“My church is too small for that stuff.”
“My pastor never did it that way.”
In truth, they have given up. Perhaps in the past they tried something and it did not work. Or maybe they have struggled for so long in a fruitless field that they have given up hope. Whatever the reason, they return in the same condition in which they came and continue an existence wrapped in paralysis, void of vision. Their very thoughts ruin incentive, wrecks confidence, removes hope, and destroys faith. They seem to forget that God once used a rod, a jaw-bone, a handful of oil and a little meal, five small stones, and five barley loves and two fishes.
Pastor! Church leader! Never give up. Never give up. Never give up! Never, never, never, never!
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
– Apostle Paul
At the conclusion of this chapter is your final action plan. Once your organizational system is in place and operating as outlined in volume one, then begin perfecting and implementing your evangelistic program. Remember, organization alone will not bring growth. Organization never brings revival, it only sustains revival. For growth to take place, seed must be planted. And if we will sow the seed, God will do the rest. He will cause the sun to shine. He will make the rain to fall. He will place the nutrients in the soil. He will cause the miracle of germination to bring forth life. He will make it grow. If we will do our part, God will do his part. As the prophet has promised, “He that goeth forth, and weepth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.” Do it now!
A Sample Plan Of Implementation For “Part Two” Of Total Church Growth
Date to be completed by
1. Focus on getting your Prayer ministry departments ministries launched and active this month.
a) Monthly Prayer Promotion
b) Prayer Hot-line
c) Pre-service Prayer Emphasis
2. Also concentrate on getting your New Convert Care Department operating well, if not already going.
a) New Life Class
b) Dinner Ministries
c) First night counselors trained if needed
1. Your Visitor Follow-up may already be operating, but take this month to get it rolling smoothly. It needs to be operating well before you launch the Spiral. Train your follow-up personnel.
2. Introduce Constant Contact Consciousness. Explain it well – use overhead projector. Get your slips printed. Get your people used to it. Try it out for a few weeks.
3. Make sure that the Home Bible Study Department is ready to operate strongly following your upcoming Growth Spiral service. The director should already be coordinating all Bible studies you now have going.
4. If you plan to use the “Parentreach” method of Bus or Van Ministry, you might get it started now.
5. Have your Spiral Bulletin Board designed and put up in a highly visible location. Put some time and quality into this.
1. Have the materials printed or copied for your Growth Spiral Seminar (Five-Year Plan, Spiral, Commitment forms, etc.)
2. Have your Church Growth Spiral Commitment Night. Use an overhead projector!
*Explain 5-Year Numerical Goals
*Explain Church Growth Spiral (Goals to begin NEXT month)
*Have an altar call and commitment. Collect the commitment forms.
3. Get a commitment form from every adult. Follow up on all absentees.
4. Post numbers committed on Spiral Bulletin Board. | |
5. Have your annual Home Bible Study Training Seminar soon after the Spiral Commitment Service. Bring in an outside speaker for this if possible.
6. Start Home Bible Study Emphasis Month.
1. Promote faithfulness in involvement to all areas of the Growth Spiral – bringing visitors, teaching Home Bible Studies, C.C.C., and Sunday School growth.
2. You might consider having an “Enroll-To-Grow” campaign in the next few months.
3. Start your “Monthly Holy Ghost Sunday” in Sunday School if you have not already done so.
4. Begin your monthly Home Bible Study promotions.
5. Begin your Saturday Door Knocking Teams this month if possible. Train your door knocking staff!
1. Have your first “Monthly Spiral Promotion” to review your monthly Spiral results. Monthly goals are one-third of your quarterly goals.
2. Consider beginning your weekly Leadership Development Class this month. Select a text book and announce the class.
1. Plan an Altar Worker’s Training Seminar if you have not already done so – you’re going to need it!
2. Keep on keeping on. You should be seeing some results.
1. Have your first quarterly Growth Spiral promotion night. Review quarterly goals and results. Preach soulwinning. Have members commit to next quarters goals. Try to increase involved.
“The world has yet to see what God can do through one man whose life is totally committed to Him” -D.L. Moody
Lord, let it be ME!
(The above material was prepared and published by Tim Massengale from Total Church Growth. You can order the complete 2 volume set from Pentecostal Publishing House.)
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