“We have to be satisfied with leading people into very small steps repeated over a long time.”
We asked pastors of some of the nation’s largest churches to share their thoughts on church growth, discipleship, outreach and faithful ministry.
Josh Mauney, Pastor
We believe that the church is the only organization in the world that exists for its non-members, so we have worked incredibly hard on keeping our main focus people in our community that are near to us but still far from God. We invest a lot of resources in marketing, but that wouldn’t make a difference if we didn’t also invest a lot of energy in creating weekend services that lost people can understand.
God brought together quality people to launch our church. We had entire families move across states, many of whom were basically strangers. It’s been clear to us since Day 1 that God was speaking to people and that he was the one building this church.
We cannot control outcomes; we can only control output. We can’t make people take steps; we can only create paths. In a world that is consumed with instant gratification, we have to be satisfied with leading people into very small steps repeated over a long time.
People are not yours to hold, but yours to release. I spent too many years hurt by people that left or frustrated by people I couldn’t get to stay, but they were never mine to hold. It doesn’t mean that you don’t get to love well, it just means that you have to learn to release well.
I think the trick is remembering that the greatest hindrance to future success is previous success. To keep that motivation I don’t have to look further than my own house. As my wife and kids continue to grow, I can only lead them if I’m always moving the needle in my own life.
We have to quit pretending that the divisiveness in our culture isn’t there, so that means moving past the reluctance to have the conversations. The church must avoid the glaring narrative of our culture, which is more interested in enforcing what they stand against than what they stand for. There aren’t many things that can’t be solved with two people in two chairs in a room. Change can only happen when we stop hiding behind our keyboards and start looking each other in the eyes and having the hard conversations.