What on Earth Are You Doing for Heaven’s Sake?

Recently, I visited with a preacher. He told me about a class they had for new members — whether by baptism or placing membership.

Among many other things, they told them the leadership’s expectations of people who decided to become a member of that congregation.

Some of their expectations:

  • We expect you to attend worship. There are no Lone Ranger Christians. Why have your name on the roll if you don’t plan to be there?
  • We expect you to give. God’s people give to advance His work.
  • We expect you to be involved in ministry. We will encourage you to evaluate your gifts and select a ministry where you can serve God and others.
  • We ask you to sign a commitment that you will not gossip. Gossip will destroy a church. We expect people to believe what the Bible teaches about this. Proverbs 26:20; Titus 3:10, 11

Would it surprise you that church is growing rapidly? Many people want to be a part of something that is challenging.

Leaders decide where they need to go and invite others to follow. A great leader goes the right way whether others follow or not. Joshua 24:14, 15

Seth Godin had a powerful illustration in one of his classics recently:

“Where does this bus go?”

One approach, which is tempting in the short run, is to wait until people are on the bus and then ask each person where they want to go. Seek to build consensus.

Try not to leave anyone out.

The other approach, which works far better if you have a fleet of available buses, is to announce in advance where the bus is going. That way, anyone who wants to go where youʼre headed can get onboard.

Enrollment is critical. Enrollment allows leaders to lead. Not by endlessly querying those that they seek to serve, but by announcing their destination and then heading there, with all deliberate speed.

Seth Godin, October 27, 2019: https://seths.blog/2019/10/where-does-this-bus-go/

Can you tell people how your congregation is carrying God’s word and work in three sentences or less? Have you repeated that until the members can tell the same purpose to those they invite?

If we fail to have a destination for our bus, we will go:



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Jerrie Barber
Disciple of Jesus, husband, grandfather, preacher, barefoot runner, ventriloquist

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