Who Moved My Pulpit? may not be the exact question you’re asking. But you’re certainly asking questions about change in the church – where it’s coming from, why it’s happening, and how you’re supposed to hang on and follow God through it- even get out ahead of it so your church is faithfully meeting its timeless calling and serving the new opportunities of this age.
Based on conversations with thousands of pastors, combined with on-the-ground research from more than 50,000 churches, best-selling author Thom S. Rainer shares an eight-stage roadmap to leading change in your church. Not by changing doctrine. Not by changing biblical foundations. But by changing methodologies and approaches for reaching a rapidly changing culture.
You are the pastor. You are the church staff person. You are an elder. You are a deacon. You are a key lay leader in the church. This is the book that will equip you to celebrate and lead change no matter the cost.
The Holy Bible gives us insight into what to do with a view to dealing with hostile environments and difficult places. The following are practical biblical tips that will help:
The right frame of mind: The idea of having to work in a hostile environment may sometimes lead to wrong and disarming thoughts and imaginations. This should be avoided. The right frame of mind is to trust God and keep trusting him for your protection, stay positive and expect a breakthrough, persevere, knowing that if we resist the devil he will surely flee, be prayerful and listen continually to the Holy Spirit.
Spiritual Warfare: Satan is working overtime to see that the Gospel is not preached. Our weapon to disengage him in prayer. Prayer is our weapon of mass destruction against all the devil brings against us and communities and even nations. Adequate spiritual warfare will prepare the ground for the Gospel invasion. When such prayers are done territorial spirits are dislodged, the atmosphere is rightly conditioned for the smooth penetration of the Gospel in the area and it culture.
Love the people: Love is contagious. Love is tangible. It can be seen and felt. Nobody can resist true love. Even animals respond positively to love. Love tames. The love of God, that agape love is in us and that’s what we love the people with. This love will break all the blockades in and around them. That’s the kind of love Jesus in his mission on earth operated with. That’s the love that won our hearts. It will win any stubborn heart anywhere. Identify some Gospel oppossers and directly show them love.
Social work: This also helps prepare the ground. It opens the heart of the people to you. Find out their most need and meet it. Anywhere the devil has been controlling will definitely have needs. The social work could be first a medical or educational mission that will eventually be a springboard to evangelism.
Perseverance and positive confessions: Perseverance is a major necessity. You must be willing to stay on, hold on and stay put until you begin to see encouraging results. Sometimes the situation may want to lead you to start speaking the wrong words over yourself, the work or the people. Don’t allow it. In patience and faith there is guarantee for success. Positive words create the right situation for operation.
Target prominent indigenes: When prominent people get saved it will encourage and inspire those who look up to them to follow. Their conversion almost always produce a bandwagon effect (Acts 18:7-8).
Power evangelism: This means presenting the Gospel message in the power of the Holy Spirit to produce definite and tangible results. Resistance wanes when people’s needs are met supernaturally this way (Jn.11.43-45; Acts 3:1-11; Acts 8:5-6).
Every difficult environment has peculiar manifestations be sensitive to the leadings of God. Don’t be rigid. God is with you and he desperately wants you to win souls for the kingdom so trust him all the way. Remember Psm. 23:5 (KJV) always…”Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me”.