It’s crazy how one sentence can completely change everything. Has that ever happened to you? You know someone says something, whether good or bad, and they didn’t even mean much by it, but it changes everything. Well, I can confidently say yes, it happened a few weeks ago. However, I would have missed this if it wasn’t for this past six months leading me up to this point… so let’s just start there shall we?
This year has been sort of a Reformation of sorts for me and my understanding of me. I have learned more about myself this past year then all other years combined. We can crack 60% of it to the fact that marriage truly is the most sanctifying thing someone can do. The other 40% is a combo of a bunch of stuff. But to tie a nice pretty bow around it, The Lord has been so faithful with showing me the importance and power of truly knowing His Word. It can’t be stressed enough–okay moving….
Because of connections, I came in contact with a local pastor at a church here in Waco. My wife and I were not going to his church, but he just wanted to sit down and here about my life. We continued to meet about once a week for a month or so. No particular reason to why we were meeting. I think we were both just a refreshing and a nice change from our everyday networks of people. Finally, after 2 months of hanging out he finally told me to at least come worship with him one Sunday. I’ll be honest I figured he would ask eventually. I knew it was a small church, and he talked a lot bout re-planting it… he keep using the word, Gospel-Centered. My thoughts to that were… great buzz word pal. Typical pastor.
More like typical prideful ME.
Fast-foward. I have seen what he means by this, and seen the local body actually do this well! My wife and I have now been involved in this church for the past four months and love it’s vision, it’s purpose, and it’s passion to violently pursue the Gospel.
Okay so you know where I’ve been, now to the point…
A few weeks ago, a close friend came to visit Waco for the weekend. She and I worked together last year for the youth ministry, and this year she has gone to another city to continue her work in youth ministry. It was after she spent the night with us at our youth club worshipping and hearing me preach…. and after she said this:
“There is something SO good about the simplicity of what we should do…..The Gospel.”
She must have caught me on a good night.
But, there it was. What else is of greater value? Why else do we do stupid all night video game sessions and spend hour upon hours planning for the next BIG event, when what they truly need is the FULL Gospel. We think we need to water things down, or make Jesus pretty so kids will “get it”.
We don’t give our kids enough credit. And we give even LESS credit to the Holy Spirit I think….
For the first time in doing ministry, I feel like I have learned something and applied it and we have seen the Lord just say, “Yup. That’s it.” Hopefully people don’t freak out because it has to do with numbers in ministry….
Just hear me out.
Our weekly club nights dwindled a little bit last year in numbers. At the beginning of this year, one of our objectives in our ministry plan(fancy word for marketing strategy) to get more people in the door was to, and I quote:
“Boost club numbers through a new club environment that is appealing and FRESH”
After really learning from my good friend and now pastor about the importance of just bringing the Gospel, our staff decided that we would do just that. We have spent all year simply bringing The Gospel in its fullness to club every single week through the preaching of the Word and through our worship. Not shying away from the Truth of what it means and the implications it has on our lives. And man…. were we blown away.
Five months after simply preaching the Gospel every WEEK and really focusing on the finished work of the Cross of Christ, we have seen exponential growth! We went from 20 kids a week, to upper 40’s EVERY week. Not only in numbers, but in fruit. Because of that I have seen five kids come to know the Lord at club or because of the stirring of the Spirit from the revealing of the Word. Talk about humbling, all it took was making it more about The Lord, and less about us! It’s funny how I always find a way to get in the way.
I too often expect too little from people, and far less from the Lord when it comes to the ability the revealing of the Gospel has to soften hearts. I never want to belittle the power of the Gospel and keep the joys of the mysteries of Christ from my domain of influence.
So what’s your domain of influence? And is that influence getting clouded with other stuff? Or is the Gospel what drives, fuels, and is seen from your platform? It’s funny how one sentence can hold so much weight….
Go and make disciples of all nations.