It is so easy to get into ministry maintainance mode. We do what we have to do to keep things ticking over. As soon as one program is over, the next is looming. And there is certainly something to be said for faithful plugging away in local church work. But while remaining faithful to what must be done, we should remember that there are other things that must be done too. These “musts” comes not from the tyranny of the weekly schedule, but from the beating heart of God.
Dream – Take some time to dream. Let’s unshackle our imaginations and prayerfully imagine what could be. We should break out of the small confines we easily find ourselves in and engage sanctified imaginations for God. Imagine what could be for individuals in the church, for ministries in the church, for the church itself. Dream dreams that don’t fit in the weekly schedule. Tangibly meeting specific needs in the local community. Mobilizing missionaries who will actually go and make a difference. Taking a stand on a key ethical issue and seeing God work through that. As we walk close with the Lord, His values become our values, and increasingly our dreams should reflect His.
Strategize – Pray about taking steps toward these bigger goals. Your strategy will go beyond preaching on the subject, but it should include that. The pulpit ministry of the church has a unique and definite role to play. Even if you are not able to define a five-year detailed strategy, just taking some steps is worth it.
Preach – It’s easy to lose sight of how influential preaching is in the life of the church. It’s easy to allow negative feedback or a perceived lack of response to drain your motivation. But preaching does matter and it does influence. So preach. Preach the Word of God for the transformation of lives.
Pursue – If you are pursuing a goal, then pursue it after you preach on it. That might involve further messages. It’s easy to expect too much from a single message. It might involve conversations, convening an interest group, distributing resources, the targeted giving of key books, further prayer, of course. If you want to lose your passion for something, then reflect only on the apparent lack of response from a message. If you want to see greater things happening, then pursue with further preaching and more.