Reblog: Do you understand what you’re asking?

Those of us “in ministry” often talk about moving people from spectators to playing on the field. We want people to move from simply attending, to being part of church; involved, giving, committed.
But have you realised what your asking for?
What we’re really asking for is “investment”. We want people to invest in gospel ministry; invest their money, their time, their lives!! And investments are risks. We’re asking people to risk their time, their money, their energy, their worldly opportunities… for Jesus… in the way we suggest.
That might not seem like a risk for you (you in full time ministry already). But don’t forget what type of risk it is to those you’re recruiting.
No matter what it is you’re recruiting people to help you do, you’re selling an investment in Jesus. For some, that’s a huge risk… Understand that and you understand why people find it hard to commit to “simple” things.

Col Marshall’s thoughts on the limitations of the Weekly-Sermon-Driven church

At a recent MTS Training day, Col Marshall explained some of the potential risks of the church that’s sermon-driven…
– potentially limits the audience to those who can deal with that type of sermon
– potentially limits the maturity of some people, because you’re trying to make it suitable for a wider audience
– potentially limits the servant attitude of people, who are only spoken at and not encouraged to speak encouraging gospel words to each other
– potentially leads pastors to be sermon focused, rather than sermon-hearer focused
They are good reflections I think. They aren’t conclusive, as the word which is preached is able to cross all these limitations. But humanly speaking they’re right.
The interesting thing is that Col’s conclusion was that churches need to make sure they run really good gospel-shaped structures around the Sunday sermon to alleviate these risks.
Vine-Growers always start with great seedlings and brilliant trellises.