When you're feeling down in ministry, remember how important your church is in shaping people's lives.
What does your church do for people? Probably more than you’ve thought.
Every Monday, scores of pastors walk away from ministry. It’s easy for us to forget how incredibly helpful the local church is in shaping and benefiting people’s lives. Let me encourage you about this for the next five minutes.
Last week, I heard from a couple whose trajectory was completely changed by what they learned in New Song’s Financial Peace class. Today, they have less debt, less tension, more hope, more discipline and more skills to apply to so many areas of their lives. I walked away thinking, “We have hundreds of families who are out of debt or on their way. Offering Financial Peace may be the greatest favor our church has ever done for people.”
Then a saner thought came to me: Financial peace is FAR down the list of favors a church offers people!
Without blinking, I thought of nine more-valuable favors people regularly receive at our church and churches like ours:
1. We introduce people to Jesus.
People come to Christ in local churches in far greater numbers than anywhere else. Knowing Jesus is an eternity changer. Peace, forgiveness, purpose, hope and heaven come from him. Put those on one end of a scale and Financial Peace on the other and the tilt toward Jesus is overwhelming.
2. We teach people to read Scripture.
Learning to read the Bible is like learning another language. The most important one! Scripture is God’s native tongue. Without it, we know only what God says through natural revelation. It’s like visiting Mexico with five phrases of Spanish. Earth’s experiences are immeasurably richer when you know what God is saying to you.
3. We teach people to pray.
Reading the Bible lets you listen to God. Praying lets you talk to him. I’ve never done the survey, but I’ll bet if you talked to 10 men on the street, eight of them would say they would rather have direct access to God’s ears for whatever was troubling them whenever they felt troubled than a healthy bank statement.