What would it look like if every church in the Convention were committed to plant one church in the next year? Would that alone not change the face of our country?
Regardless of the size of our church, we all need to stop measuring success by “seating capacity” and start viewing ministry success as “sending capacity.” Seating capacity is comfortable. It’s safe. Sending capacity is risky and frightening. Seating capacity makes the churches’ leaders look important. But sending capacity makes the mission—and Jesus—look important.
Shifting from seating capacity to sending capacity will entail a fundamental shift in how we think about the mission of the church. Jesus’ vision of the church—the kind of church that would besiege the gates of hell—did not consist of a group of people gathered around one anointed leader, but multiple leaders going out in the power of the Spirit. It’s a claim that very few of us take seriously: Jesus literally said that that a multiplicity of Spirit-filled leaders would be greater than his earthly, bodily presence (John 14:12). It’s a claim I want to see made real in churches all throughout this nation.
The Gospel Above All
We are, all of us, always at risk of adding something to the gospel. And soon enough, the-gospel-and turns into the-gospel-of … until eventually the gospel fades away and only the lesser things remain. I pray that we, as a group of churches, would love the gospel more than we love anything else—more than our political views, more than our traditions, more than our own platforms, more than our uniquely crafted strategies. May we carry out our ministry in the same spirit as the Apostle Paul, who reminds us that, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15).
This article was written by J.D. Greear and originally appeared at his blog. Find it here.
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