A Tale of Two Churches: Sending Churches Parts 7 and 8

7. The leadership of a Sending Church models and practices a “live sent” lifestyle. I am referring to pastoral leadership specifically. It has been said that “everything rises and falls with leadership.” This is never truer than when it is applied to the New Testament church. One of the interesting things that happens in the local church is that the congregation tends to take on the personality of their pastor. If the pastor is loving and caring, the congregation tends to be so as well. If the pastor is cold and dismissive, the congregation tends to be so as well. If the pastor embraces the fact that God has sent the believer into world to be salt and light and models that is his everyday contact with people, the congregations tends to do the same. One the other hand, if the pastor refuses to embrace this truth and does not “live sent”, all the sermons in the world will not make a difference. Sending Churches are led by pastors who know what it means to “live sent.

8. Sending Churches constantly evaluate ministries, programs, and staff to optimize their impact on the community. The tendency of any organization, churches included, is to continue the same path unless forced into a change of direction. Routines are quickly formed. It is important for churches to evaluate their work and ministry on a regular basis. This evaluation requires tough questions and honest answers. It is difficult because through the years people become attached to “their” programs, classes, and ministries. Leaders must be aware that making changes can create a firestorm when a person’s favorite anything is affected, altered, or discontinued. Churches who intentionally send people and resources into their community constantly evaluate their work. Questions such as “What is working?”, “Do we have proper funding?”, and “What do we need to stop doing?” are routinely asked. Sending Churches are willing to place the “sacred cows” on the altar for the sake of those who have not heard the gospel. Sending Churches constantly ask questions like this one: “In our current situation, what could we do different so that more people and resources are given to the pursuit of those who are not here yet?”

 

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