It was Saturday morning. Normally, Saturday morning is “sermon finalization time.” But God had something else in mind. He’s laying it on me hot and heavy, challenging me to challenge our leadership, making sure we don’t slip into complacency but focus on aggressively pursuing God’s plan to use our church to reach people.
So, instead of writing a sermon introduction, I was writing a letter to the Pastor’s Leadership Team outlining what I believe God wants us to do for Him in 2009. And that’s where I made the mistake. I asked God if He has a goal for us.
Now, normally, I hate numerical goals. But in my heart I believed God wanted me to put a number out there to maximize our efforts to reach people for Him.
So, I typed in a number… 600. I felt really comfortable with that number. Which told me it wasn’t from God because God has never led me to be comfortable.
So, I backspaced over the 6 and typed in a 7. That one made me a little squeamish, but I didn’t have that “God nudge” I was looking for.
Then I deleted the 7 and typed an 8. I looked at that number and felt true panic—and real peace. Panic and Peace. A good way to know you’re setting God-sized goals.
800 in average weekend attendance for October 2009. So I finished the letter and gave it to the PLT.
But there’s a big problem with a goal like that (besides the fact that it’s God-sized). At the “First Tuesday on Friday” a couple weeks ago, I wrote the number on one side of the board, then drew a line down the middle of the board and asked the people a question.
“If one side of this board represents God’s part and the other represents our part, which side is the 800 on?”
God’s side. Jesus said He was in charge of building His church.
Which leads to the question. Why would God lead us to set a goal when we have no power to achieve it? When it’s only accomplished by His power?
Well, it’s true that the number 800 is on God’s side of the board. But there are a lot of things on our side of the board that can prevent God from accomplishing His purpose.
For instance, if we jam pack the nursery and KidzWorship areas to the point of total discomfort, our building is capable of holding about 300 people for a service. If we decide to only hold one service a week and don’t look for ways to increase our children’s space, we’re limiting God to about 300 people a week (and we’re already well past that mark). That’s a big reason we’re looking to add a Saturday evening service in March and scouting around for portable classrooms to expand our children’s ministry area as soon as possible.
Of course, space isn’t the only way we limit God. So, for the next few blogs, we’ll be looking at the things we have to do going into 2009 so that we’re putting forth our best efforts and not hindering God from accomplishing His tasks.