Posts Tagged ‘church transformation’

What are the goals you have for your church?  Aside from the very specific goals of painting the auditorium or getting new elders next year, would any of these be your goals?

  • More of our members get into the Word
  • Greater prayerfulness
  • Increased generosity
  • Greater personal engagement

I can’t imagine any healthy, growing church that is not keenly conscious of the need to grow in these areas almost all of the time!

I know several churches that are doing The Story series this year to encourage serious Bible study. Another church is reading the entire Bible in ninety days together, with Sunday sermons tied into the weekly reading.

Has your church done the forty days of prayer exercise?  We did it for our neighborhood a few years ago. Some do it for special contributions or special outreach events.  Or has your church done a twenty-four hour prayer vigil. Many African churches have these on a monthly basis.

Generosity is tougher on our congregations. You might have done a Dave Ramsey series or Crown Ministry if you are at a larger church.  Smaller churches seem to be limited to the occasional sermon which encourages generosity.

Unfortunately, the 80-20 Rule still prevails at most congregations, no matter what area of body life that we talk about.  Eighty percent of the members do 20% of the work and 20% of the members do 80% of the work.  Giving and praying seem to follow the same 80-20 pattern.  So we hire involvement ministers to motivate us to do what should be the most natural functions of every member of the body, that is, to do actively what we were created in the body to do!

What if you could lead your church into one opportunity, one activity, one exercise, or one ministry that would address all of these critical spiritual needs at once, AND what if you could expect a 70% success rate with the members, AND what if it was something in which virtually ALL of your members could participate regardless of age, Christian experiences, family situations, or most other external factors?

Have you read Dr. Craig Altrock’s book called The Shaping of God’s People:  One Story of How God Is Shaping the North American Church Through Short-Term Missions The Shaping of God’s People:  One Story of How God Is Shaping the North American Church Through Short-Term Missions His book is the result of his dissertation research for some of our finest scholars at Harding School of Theology.

What makes this study so important is that his conclusions are not just anecdotal or random, but rather these results are disciplined, quantitatively verifiable, and peer-reviewed conclusions.

A group of approximately 800 short-term mission workers who had participated in a foreign short-term mission with Let’s Start Talking, including people whose experience was up to twenty years prior to the study, were asked to report in a variety of ways on how their short-term mission experience affected them.  The briefest of summaries is as follows:

  • 77.5% reported that they read Scripture more often and more missionally than they did before their short-term mission trip.
  • 86.1% reported that they pray differently–more intentionally and specifically after their short-term mission.
  • 72.6% reported that they are more generous, that they give more to support the missions of their churches after their short-term mission project.
  • 72.6% reported that they are more involved in their church, especially outreach activities, after their short-term mission project.

What this says to me is that the church that wants to dramatically reverse the 80-20 ratio in their church should make good short-term mission experiences not just one of many opportunities, but rather an expectation for all the members of the body, something that everyone will do.

Good short-term missions experiences will transform first your members, then your congregation! 

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