We are not talking size of church. Size is not the issue.
Growth is the issue.
If you are the pastor of a church the issue is not how big you are but whether or not you are growing – reaching people – impacting your community with the Gospel. The studies vary from state to state and county to county but in most years at least 65-80 % of our churches are plateaued or declining.
When I travel and talk to those pastors often I do not find a church that is throwing the “kitchen sink” at hell trying to make a difference – often I find a pastor who is content to let the church sit – as long as he has a good excuse.
If you Google the word excuse here is the first thing that comes up:
Verb – Attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.
Noun – A reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense.
Many feel if they have a good excuse it is OK not to reach people. Lord forgive us!
Please don’t let us be content to arrive at The Judgment Seat of Christ with a good excuse instead of the souls of men!
We should not be making excuses, but should be pouring everything we have into reaching the world for Christ.
Here are three excuses I’ve heard and my response to each:
1. My people are not evangelistically minded
Right -that’s why you are there!
I’ve never heard of a pastor who went to a new church and said, “These people are wearing me out winning souls to Jesus. I’m having to tell them to stop witnessing so much so we can get them all discipled and build buildings faster.”
Of course your church is not consumed with evangelism. If they were, the last guy probably would not have left. You’ve got to lead them. Guide them. Cast vision for them. Model evangelism. You have to fan the flames of evangelism for your congregation. In 90 % of the cases the congregations evangelism fervor matches the evangelism leadership the pastor is modeling.
2. Our budget is too tight
We’ve all experienced a down-turn in our budgets in recent years. Many churches think they have evangelism as a priority but don’t have a budget line item called “Evangelism”. But, even if your budget is tight you can do evangelism. Telling people about Jesus doesn’t always take money.
- Pray for the lost by name
- Prayer walk
- Do evangelism through Sunday School
- Train the members to share their faith
That list could go on and on. And, there is more money for evangelism in your pews than you may first think. It may not all be going in the offering plate but share your passion and finances always flow to passion in the church.
3. Everyone around us goes to church
I know we live in what’s left of the Bible belt but it is just no longer true that everyone goes to church or knows Christ as Savior. There is no county in Georgia that is more churched today than it was twenty years ago. The world is lost. Your world is lost. Go to the local high-school and you will learn that fact quickly.
There are a lot more excuses we could all come up with. Let’s stop with the excuses.
Pastor lead your church to do evangelism and to impact your community for Christ.
A few of my favorite quotes on excuses:
“Leadership is taking responsibility while others are making excuses.” – John Maxwell
“Ninety-nine percent of failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” —George Washington Carver
“People who are good at making excuses are seldom good at anything else.” —Benjamin Franklin