In my first few years of vocational ministry, I soaked up information and instruction from a variety of organizations. I was a sponge. I was a rookie in every sense of the word and desperately needed help. A colleague suggested I attend a seminar through SonLife Ministries (www.sonlife.com). This eventually led to the attendance of everything they taught. I found a ministry philosophy that would carry through the next several years.
Part of this training dealt with healthy components of a small group. It seemed fitting to spend time in that ministry area since our church was attempting to figure out small groups. The significance of this particular training would not significantly grip my ministry efforts until years later.
In the last five years, these small group components have morphed into four healthy components of a local church. In fact, I believe they could be placed into any church of any size. I believe they are so significant they recently served as the four categories a church strategic plan.
I have heard from church leader after church that if a person or family doesn’t make at least one relational connection at church in six months, that person or family will not stay. I think six months is actually too long. Six weeks might be closer to accurate.
Regardless of any time frame, those who attend church need to be connected to others relationally for the same reason people join sports teams/leagues and visit their favorite coffee shop, bar or restaurant. We were wired with a sense to belong to something. If that need isn’t met relatively quickly, we go looking in another place.
There are many churches that do a great job of connecting relationally. The smaller your church, the better connected you probably feel. Churches that are mid-sized or larger experiment with a variety of ways to manufacture ways for congregants to connect. I believe the best way for relational connect happens in a small group format outside of the church building.
Why outside the church building? If our relational connection will ever take us to the “serve” component, we must eventually get outside the building. In my opinion, if we start outside the building it will be easier to serve outside the building.
Most church services I have attended involve singing. Singing doesn’t mean we are adoring God or even worshiping for that matter. Worship doesn’t mean we’re singing either. Worship is more than a music genre; it’s engaging with spiritual royalty. It’s allow the one true God who has sovereign rule over the universe to be King of your live. It’s communicating to him that he is King and you are amazed by Him.
Throughout my years of youth ministry, I often reminded myself that my job is to create an environment for spiritual growth.
As I serve the whole church, I often pray that we will understand that adoration for our King will only come when we create an environment for spiritual growth. We take the time to allow God to reveal who he is and we respond to what God has done in our lives. We embrace that he is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, King of Kings and Lord of lords.” We join “what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God'”.
Unfortunately, many churches rarely engage with the royalty of God. Do you pursue the royalty of God?
I want to encourage to carve out space to be alone today and let God reveal himself to you. Then, give equal to respond. Move beyond where you have been and adore God as the King of your life.