I think most church-going-Christians want God to pour out blessing on their church. I think most church-going-Christians want to see both numerical growth and spiritual growth in their church. I think most church-going-Christians want to see genuine salvations and serious discipleship at their church.
If most church-going-Christians want these things, why are so many churches stagnant, declining, and dying? To put the question another way … What does a church need to do in order to experience God’s blessing in a dramatic way?
I’m not sure there’s a magic formula for “bottling” the blessing of God and putting the Almighty at our disposal. The Bible is pretty clear that God does whatever he wants to do, whenever he wants to do it, using whomever he wants to use, without asking for our advice or permission. Nevertheless, I do think a church needs to be serious about two things if they want to experience the blessing of God.
First, a church must embrace brokenness and desperation. We must admit that we are sinful and needy and weak. We must admit that our money and programs and buildings are incapable of accomplishing the mission. We must admit that our best attempts at entertainment and performance are just that, entertainment and performance. We must admit that our wisdom is lacking and our hearts are prone to wander from God. We must admit that only an outpouring of God’s Spirit can bring life and growth to a church. As long as a church is content to sit in smug-self-sufficiency, they should not expect to experience the blessing of God. Don’t get me wrong, your money might make things look good from the outside, and your coolness might attract a great crowd. But that’s all you’ll have. A nice looking facade for a large crowd of people. That’s a far cry from the blessing of God in the life of your church.
Second, a church must submit to the authority of God’s Word. Our preaching and teaching and praying and worshiping must be driven by the Word. We must forsake the temptation to entertain and perform. Instead, we must focus on the task of unapologetically proclaiming the whole counsel of God. We must speak boldly about sin and wrath and repentance and hell. We must speak clearly about grace and mercy and reconciliation. We must be serious about submitting our lives, our families, and our church to the authority of God’s Word. The things that are important to God must be important to us.
So … if you want God to bless your church, if you want to see numerical and spiritual growth, if you want to see salvations and discipleship … Start here. Embrace brokenness and desperation. Submit to the authority of God’s Word.
Originally published January 12, 2016 on landoncoleman.com.