“Whether you are a pastor, a volunteer, or a church member, you want your church to grow well.” You want a healthy church. But what does a healthy church look like and how do you turn your church into one? The Blessed Church by Robert Morris can help you!
I work in women’s ministry in my church and have worked with women, youth, and children all throughout my adult life. I’ve even been a church secretary. One thing I have learned is that there are many things that can make a church unhealthy. There are many things that will kill a church.
We are all ministers and when we adopt that mindset and realize that we all share a common goal of reaching the lost for the Lord, we will learn how to put the things aside that divide us. In this book, Robert Morris explains how he and his church members have fostered growth within their body.
In the book, Mr. Morris states that “God made us to want to bring increase.” It’s natural for us to want to grow. He says, “Writers want their books read by as many people as possible.” That rang true in my heart. This book made me realize that as important as book sales are to me, having a healthy, thriving church is equally as important.
We can use many strategies and have the best intentions to make this health come to our churches, but “it all comes down to the motivation and attitudes of our hearts.” Our goal must be to feed the sheep. If you’ve ever been in a church that won’t grow no matter what, it might be time to stop and assess things.
Sometimes churches grow in number but then things level out or fall. Why is that? Well, the parable of the seed tells us that the soil a seed grows in determines whether or not it’s fertile enough to sustain the test of time. “Healthy things grow. Growth without real health is unsustainable. If you want growth, pursue and monitor health.”
Churches sometimes try so hard to reach people and to make them stay once they arrive that they water things down. They try to make the Word of God palatable. They don’t want to step on toes. But, as this book says, “Unbelievers are attracted to, not repelled by, the power and presence of God. Spiritually hungry seekers are looking for something authentic and transformative—something bigger than themselves.” I’ve always felt like if someone walks into the doors of the church for a church service, then that person is seeking God. So why not give him what he’s looking for?
“A pastor’s job is to train up everyday evangelists and send them out, filled with the Word and the influencing power that comes from having been in God’s presence.” How exciting for a pastor to be able to preach to his congregation words of empowerment to send them out to conquer the world for God—and offer words to the seeker at the same time.
The book also speaks of the importance of the pastor having a vision and then casting that vision before his people. “A vision starts with an individual. In scripture, God didn’t impart vision to a committee. He spoke to an individual and called that person to communicate the vision clearly to others. Visions can only be accomplished by a team.” This shows how important each person within the church is. We’re all needed to accomplish the goal.
“A vision God can bless is a vision you allow Him to give you. It will require both great faith and holy audacity to receive it.” If you believe God has a bigger plan for you and your church, then be ready for him to bless you.
Here’s a few things Mr. Morris shares in regards to a pastor’s role:
- A pastor’s role is to feed the sheep. He should spend more time feeding than leading. People can’t go into battle malnourished. They must be fed.
- The wrong kind of shepherd will actually scatter the sheep.
- A true shepherd’s heart burns to see people helped and fed and matured and equipped.
- A shepherd who doesn’t care about these things will see his church get smaller.
- A true shepherd leads by example. He models where he wants his sheep to go.
“Only Jesus can call and gift true shepherds.”
Mr. Morris stresses the fact that pastors must include their families with them in ministry. They must not sacrifice them to the demands of ministry. “They must be good husbands and fathers first. They can’t be truly blessed leaders any other way.” Pastors must stay in the Word, pray, and raise up leaders so they will not have to do everything alone.
One thing Mr. Morris said really stuck out to me. He said, “Hold onto what God has given you with an open hand.” If you know that God owns everything and that He allows us to use them and have access to them for His purposes, then it’s easier to hold your hand open and ask Him to do with you and your resources whatever He wants to. You will soon see that you have even more than you started out with. With this attitude, not only will you be blessed, your family and your church will be, as well.
“Church is not about observing God. Or learning facts about God. It’s about experiencing God.” When we connect with a solid community within our churches, serve the Lord with gladness, commit our lives and our ministries to Him, blessings will abound.
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.