Some really great pastors spoke more yesterday about a couple of these things that churches who do well excel at.
1. Make the destination clear, where disciples hear from God and then make a great impact in their community and their world. These churches make the “spiritual on-ramp” clear. That there are some really key first steps that churches need to lead their people along. (For many of us it’s a membership class.) Here’s a couple of other things. We get people moving in their spiritual life by serving, and in serving, the greater the expectation, the greater the commitment. This is a great principle that we often forget about. If we ask people to rise to a great commitment… guess what… they will! Sometimes we who lead in the church assume that we have to make ministry real easy for those who volunteer. I’ve been on both sides of this, and have learned that when we volunteer in the church, we still want it to be rich and rewarding and challenging.
2. Embed the Bible in everything. A lot of these churches preach out of Scripture, not out of experience. One of the pastors said something that really struck me. The teacher doesn’t “master the text”, instead, the text masters the teacher! The text (of the Bible) teaches the teacher/preacher how to live, transforms his/her life, and makes that person into the person who can teach that learned and lived truth to others. One of the reasons we on the staff at TCC use the same Bible-reading plan that we recommend to our people (the “Life Journal”), is that we show by our own lives that Scripture is the foundation of the Church, it is what we are totally dependent on. It’s not “God”, but it is alive and living and vital and transforming. Also, there is power in being exposed to Scripture over and over. I can’t say this enough. If you’re reading this right now and not reading the Bible every day, you’re, I promise you, missing out. At TCC, we have a Life Journal you can buy pretty cheap, or you can do it online even easier here.