Who are the most important people at your church? This is a question that every single pastor and leadership team should think on. What this question means is…what group of people have the biggest influence on the mission of your church? Let me give you a hint, it shouldn’t be pastors, deacon’s or elders.
Who does Jesus think (other than himself, of course) should be the most important people at your church?
Jesus never really liked religious people, in fact, he preferred to spend his time with tax collectors and “sinners”. One time Jesus was eating a meal with these sinners and the Pharisees(church folk) began to gossip and ridicule him. Listen to what Jesus says…
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus Christ himself came down from heaven for whom? Lost people. Sinners that need a Savior. If the Church is an extension of Christ then who should be the most important people on our church campuses every Sunday? Who should our church exist to serve? Answer: Those who don’t know the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Can I be really honest with you? There are churches out there that, functionally, the most important people are the people with the most money or that have been a member the longest. Every decision runs through them them like a filter, and instead of a church’s leadership intensively praying and asking God what HE wants for the church and DOING it, they are controlled by a group of people that many times resist change and the Holy Spirit’s leading. The result is a huge population of dying churches.
I have been blessed at Grace to have a group of people around me that is excited about reaching the lost with the gospel and is willing to do anything short of sin to reach them. And if that means change must occur, then so be it. What saddens me is to see church after church die because people are more concerned with preserving their way of “doing church”, than doing everything they can to engage sinners. What is important to Jesus must become important to us.
For the people that read this that are apart of Grace…
What this means for us is that every decisions that we make at Grace will be centered around how best to reach the lost. Our mission statement is to Sow. Grow. Spread. We can’t Grow or Spread until the gospel has been Sown into the hearts and minds of our people.
(Important piece of information – this blog has nothing to do with the importance of discipleship. I am not downplaying the importance of discipleship. Growing believers into disciples is important to God and to me as your pastor. Churches must reach the lost AND grow them into disciples)
One change you will see the next couple of weeks is in our parking. Parking is a real issue on our campus. We just don’t have enough of it. Many of our guest have to park on the hill behind the church. We want our guest to feel welcomed, so I want to ask our people to bypass the spots in front of the church and begin to park on the hill behind the church. In fact, over the next couple of weeks we are going to begin blocking those spot and saving them for our guests that show up before the service. This is just one way that we show our guest that they are the most important people at our church. When someone drives onto our campus for the first time, we don’t know where they stand in their relationship with Christ, so we want to do everything we can to treat them with the same type of hospitality that Jesus would. This is a very small way that we answer the question, “Who are the most important people at our church?”
Pastors – I challenge you to sit down with your leadership team, ask this question and see where it leads you. What is important to Jesus must become important to us.