The Church has been called to persevere. This might sound a bit odd at first, but the word persevere means to continue in a course of action in the face of all difficulties with little or no prospect of success. Not only has the church been called to persevere, but over the last two millennium the church has flourished. This is a testament to the presence of God within the church.
Recently down at the All Access 2011 conference (hosted by the Associate of Related Churches) pastor Steven Furtick (Elevation Church) gave a message focused on this reality of Perseverance out of 2 Kings 3. Calling us to continually be preparing for God to move. You can get his message from the ARC podcast in iTunes – http://bit.ly/eSef9c
I have found myself asking the question:
How might we Persevere even better?
After all the perseverance of the last two thousand years has brought billions to know Christ. One of the biggest challenges that local churches face is how to understand the current state of their church. One of the key aspects to persevering better is to have a better understanding of yourself.
After all if an athlete doesn’t understand their strengths and weaknesses how can they better train to advance to the next level in their sport? If a chef makes the best sauces from scratch of everyone she knows, but she is unable to prepare proteins at a similar caliber than they will find themselves limited. Both of these examples are a bit humorous because it would be difficult for an athlete or chef to be unaware of their weaknesses.
Why is it hard for the Church to see her weaknesses:
- Spiritual Health is difficult to Monitor
- Church is a community, and communities add complexity.
There are a number of resources out there to assist you, and Fresh Vine is one. Monitoring the health of your church is difficult at best, but when you are able to visualize the health of your small groups, giving, and weekly attendance you can start to understand if the life changing stories are the exception or the norm within your community.
On top of that, tools like Fresh Vine that are online church management systems place these sames tools into the hands of your leaders. This is a major advantage because empowerment is needed for development. In light of the message by Pastor Furtick – setting up and implementing Fresh Vine is part of your preparation is one of the many ditches you dig in preparation for the rain.
Are there any other tools are insights you have that help you and your church Persevere?
If so, share it with the rest of us through the comments.