It was 2015 and we had been through some stuff as a Church. I was feeling like the worst Pastor in the history of ministry, and was contemplating throwing in the towel. I was burnt out and having a meltdown. It happens to all of us!
I felt as though God said to me that if I wanted our Church to be stable then I would need to become more stable and tow the line – that is to say that I needed to become a stabilsing influence by being stable myself.
One of the things that I felt God was saying that I was to become more psychologically sound myself. I had to re-adjust what I thought success was. Often times we see these large Churches and we think that success is hundreds of people, a large salary and some decent lighting. Actually, I found myself realising that I needed to set goals for where we were at, not where Hillsong were at.
I also went back to basics. My main call in life is to see another person to come the saving knowledge of Christ as Saviour.
I remember doing a talk for Church planters at the time, and just feeling like I needed to remind them that it’s all about that one person more for the Kingdom. We can easily get bogged down with numbers, strategies and goal setting, but I came out to plant a Church because I wanted to lead someone to Jesus.
The next thing I felt God was saying to me was to preach in series’. For the first 18 months of being in Lincoln I was committed to being as old school Pentecostal as possible. I would arrive at Church on a Sunday morning and just preach what I felt led to preach there and then. It was great because we got loads of response, but what the Church needed now was stability.
We could have done a month at a time, but I felt that I would go the extra mile and do a year at a time. So for the first year, May to December, we looked at the Church in the book of Acts. We just studied what made a group of people the Church.
To my surprise people didn’t leave or get bored. They were well up for it. I also started to become a bit more formal in my Bible study, and if truth be told I had lost a lot of my passion for reading the Bible after university, so being forced to read it was good for me.
Now I read more scripture than I ever have.
We did two and a half years of preaching series that lasted a year each, other than that first one. The Church just got grounded. In our Youth Church we did a year series on the heroes of the faith in the Bible. We just pulled it all together.
It didn’t look pretty or clever. It just did a job of consolidating what we had, and before we knew it we had broken the barrier.
Obviously there are more keys to breaking the twenty-five growth barrier, and I’ll share those in the next few articles, but if you’re struggling with the pressure of coming up with a fresh preach, or even the next series, just try preaching on one thing for a year. You’ll be surprised what good it does for you, your family and your almost established Church.
We did one full year on a series called ‘No Regrets’, looking at principles and lessons from the Bible that, when followed, would lead you to living a life of no regrets. It grounded our guys like nothing ever had, and the whole ministry became more stable.