Every day, all day, I talk with pastors about their church's ministry. We talk about the life of the church and church growth. We talk about their communities and congregations. We talk about budgets and committees and about their hopes and dreams for the church. I speak with pastors of all denominations and I've found out a few things that some of them might want you to know. Since I'm a outsider, I'm going to share them with you.
1. Your pastor wants you to care about the next generation.
There are lots of churches with predominately older congregations. Their kids are all grown up so they may not see a need for an updated nursery or a nice space with lots of color and excitement for a kids ministry. But here's the thing, there are young families in your neighborhood who desperately need Jesus. Their kids need to learn about Jesus.
There is a generation after you who will be able to use this space for telling the world about Jesus. There's lots more kingdom work to be done long after you're gone. Let's be real honest; parents want to know that their kids are safe. They want their children to enjoy their experience too. If you can put a little paint on the wall, update the rusty old equipment, toys...etc, you'll be more likely to retain new young families.
New families means more people. More people means growing membership. Growing membership means more discipleship. More disciples means more who are fulfilling the Great Commission. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Your pastor wants you to be more Gospel minded.
The Great Commission is not a suggestion. It is a command give by Jesus Christ, himself.
It is not only your pastor's job to tell your family and friends about Jesus.
It is not only your pastor's job to tell people in the community about Jesus.
It is not only your pastor's job to go to other countries and tell people about Jesus.
It is your job too. You were commanded to Go and make disciples.
3. He wants you to care about the community.
Third world countries are not the only place with people who don't know Jesus.
Do not hear me saying that we shouldn't go there. Jesus clearly said to Go out into ALL the World and preach the Gospel, but your very own community is full of people who do not know Jesus.
Did you know that there are people who have grown up in a church and have never actually heard the gospel? That's a subject for a whole new blog post but Yep. It's true. I've met someone who had that very experience. I had the opportunity of sharing the Gospel with someone in my house and she accepted Christ that week.
You have neighbors, co-workers, servers at your local restaurant...etc who have never heard about Jesus. There are also hungry and homeless people in your community. These are people who need you to come along side them and share the love and hope of Jesus through your wallet.
Your community is full of hurting people who need someone to show them compassion and mercy. Stop being so busy that you don't notice someone's attempt to share their heart. You have been sent by God to your community. Maybe you'll be there for a lifetime, maybe for only a season but for now, it's your community so love the people in it and find ways to help your church be the hands and feet of Jesus to them.
4. He wants you to be unity driven.
The church is the body of Christ. That means that all of its parts have to work together to accomplish the goal. The goal is to make disciples.
We have to keep that in mind when our feelings get hurt, or our toes get stepped on. First, don't be so easily offended. Second, If you do get offended, work it out like brothers and sisters in Christ. Show some grace with one another. Forgive one another and for crying out loud, move on. Get back to the goal.
Remember that we have a real enemy who wants to destroy the body. He wants to cause division so that that we lose sight of the goal of making disciples. Don't let that happen, friends. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Fight the good fight together.
5. He wants you to start applying scripture to your life.
Do you ever feel like your pastor is yelling the same things over and over and over from the pulpit. That might be because he feels like his church isn't getting it.
Your pastor is there to teach you how to apply scripture to your life and to help you learn to be a better disciple of Christ. You have to do your part in reading your bible and spending time in daily prayer. Pray for your church, your Pastor (and family) and your community.
The Word of God says that we have to mature in Christ. We cannot remain a spiritual infant forever. Have you ever thought that maybe God wants to send you out? That just maybe he wants you to be a missionary or leader in the church one day? Your pastor wants to see you fulfill who God has called you to be, but he can't want it for you more than you want it for yourself.
I speak with a lot of pastors who love their church dearly but are tired and worn out because ministry can be incredibly draining when you feel like you aren't making a difference. They can't do it all by themselves. They need you to partner with them as a member of the body of Christ in making a difference in the world.