Recently a few of us pastors on staff at my church took an extended lunch to go see “Dumb and Dumber To.” Compared to the original, it was terrible. We didn’t care. We were like 13 year old boys laughing at the idiocy of Harry and Lloyd. There we sat in the theater, three well respected and highly educated guys, laughing at things most people would call “immature." Those people would be right!
Ironically, for someone who is secretly still a junior high kid inside, part of my job is to help other people grow and mature in their faith. One question I consistently wrestle with is, "How do we move our congregation towards spiritual maturity?” Ever wondered that?
While I am still figuring this out, I have discovered a few practical steps that incite growth in people's hearts.
Consider these three ways you can generate spiritual momentum in your church.
Read the One Year Bible.
People feel overwhelmed by the Bible. Your job is to help people overcome their fear and engage God’s word. This does not require another sermon, it needs a system.
Make reading the Bible doable for people by introducing the One Year Bible. Each day a person will read a couple of chapters from the Old Testament, a chapter from the New Testament, a Psalm, and a portion of Proverbs. Every day. 15 minutes. The entire church. It's gold.
Once or twice a year do a Sunday series focused on your reading. Take June and November and focus it on this practice. Each Sunday teach from the passages your congregation read the previous week. It's a great way to bring synergy...and no one will say that series is not biblical!
Create easy missions experiences.
I want every person at my church to attend at least one missions trip in their life. Nothing generates more spiritual momentum in the heart of a believer.
Normal people struggle with this. It is tough to take a week of vacation, raise thousands of dollars, get passports and shots. It is daunting! Who doesn't hate getting shots?!
Several years ago we created an easy "first step" missions experience for people who could not attend otherwise. I found another church who did a stellar job reaching under-resourced people, the North Charleston Dream Center in Charleston, SC. Since they are only 2 1/2 hours away from my town we left on a Friday at 5:00 p.m. and returned on Sunday at 5:00 p.m. No one had to miss work or travel a long distance, and the total cost was around $100.
Find someone doing great missions work near you and create a weekend trip. Offering an inexpensive and realistic missions experience for your church will make spiritual growth soar! It may also create a passion in someone to further their reach in missions.
I want to give 20 of you a copy of the schedule we use to make this happen. The FIRST TWENTY people who register HERE will receive a copy.
Give strategic opportunities to serve.
Nothing exposes people to the heart of Jesus better than serving the local church. Create as many volunteer opportunities as possible in your weekend services.
To create momentum, focus on recruiting volunteers for a big event Sunday. Let’s use Christmas services as an example. Do a two week series about a month out of your target Sunday to cast vision and communicate how many volunteers you need. The final weekend of your series, do a massive sign up for volunteers. You are only asking people to serve for ONE WEEK! You will get a ton of sign-ups. You will be able to actually connect about half of those sign-ups. Don't be discouraged by that, it is just reality. Your goal is to take those who serve that day, follow up with them and try to connect half of them to a team long-term. You have just generated spiritual momentum in those who stick!
How have you sparked spiritual growth in your life or in the lives of others?
Hopefully this is helpful to you. Go plug these into your church and let me know how it goes. Now, give yourself a break and watch the original “Dumb and Dumber”, you can thank me later!