We spent too much time handling problems, and not enough time celebrating life change.
Plain and simple we let the enemy have a foothold in our midst for too long. Grace Church is a church that should not exist, but is a miracle story. By statistics and standards we should have closed our doors many years ago, but God had bigger and better plans for us. In the midst of chasing God's calling for Grace Church, we took a detour. We allowed the voice of critics, pharisees and wolves to have a platform. We gave time to the negative and nearly forgot the positive. It's the very thing that Satan wants us to do. We started giving more time and attention to problems. The result was gossip, dissension and frustration. Ultimately we didn't give enough time an attention to seeing people meet Jesus. However, we discovered that we have a front door, and the people who are unwilling to celebrate the changed lives and transformation can find their way out! That gave way to more time, attention, energy and passion for seeing people meet Jesus.
In the last few months I made it a HUGE point to repent as the pastor of letting this be a reality at Grace Church. It required purposeful and intentional discussion within our leadership to give little, and basically, no time to issues; and most of our energy and effort to celebrating life change. Then it moved to the congregation. We have worked hard to celebrate EVERY win, even the smallest.
The result is more life change, more excitement, more growth and more people discovering life in Jesus. We are standing unified under the vision that Grace Church exists to be a place where people far from God can discover life in Jesus. We make every decision, discussion and activity about this central idea. As a result.....We are seeing people's lives radically changed. We have seen God save marriages and radically restore families. Grace Church is filled with people that God has saved, changed and restored. God has used Grace Church, in spite of our shortcomings, to work miracles beyond our imagination.
I wish that I had spent this much time and energy doing this throughout the last 2 1/2 years. Even more lives would be changed, marriages saved and families restored. The beautiful thing is that God has awakened our church to this reality and the future looks INCREDIBLE. I am honored and grateful to pastor a church where God is active, working and people passionately love Jesus.
What's the one thing you would change?