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A third challenge is the inevitable “push-back” from some congregants who are reluctant to the change. In order to become multi-cultural, the church must change “how it does church”. All aspects of the church’s ministries and services must transition to reflect its various cultures. This includes the worship style, how baptisms and baby dedications are done, the types of ministries offered, and so on. Unfortunately, there will always be a few individuals who are happy with “the way we’ve always done it” and will buck the change process. Church leaders must be prepared to lovingly and firmly address their concerns.
Perhaps the most difficult challenge for the church though, is to address any ethnic assumptions and prejudices held by its members. The church is not immune to the same common stereotypes of another races or cultures that plague most societies. There are three aspects that must be addressed in order to overcome prejudice: education, prayer and modelling. Education about various cultural traditions and practices will help church members to better understand each other. But everything must be bathed in prayer. Jesus prayed to his Father that His disciples would be one as He and the Father are one (John 17:11) and the church should pray likewise. Lastly, church leaders must model a lifestyle of love and acceptance of all cultures before the congregation.
The Well Managed Church
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On the opposite side of this spectrum, some homes are lead by dictatorial and domineering fathers who pay little or no attention to the needs of the family. This too is a terrible excess. Fathers (pastors) are not to “lord it over” those they lead, but rather to be servant leaders (Matt 20:25-26).
For a church to be healthy it needs a healthy government structure. I am thankful the founding leaders of Victory Churches of Canada developed a leadership model that was Biblical, functional and effective. In the two churches I have been honoured to be senior leader, I have worked to mould the Victory structure into the church as quickly as possible.
A Well Managed Church is a disciple making church!
Jesus called us to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20). Churches functioning the way Jesus intended encourage wide participation in every area. While some leaders are too insecure to invite others to serve, others fear being an inconvenience or imposition. Both of these approaches run contrary to God’s plan for a healthy disciple making church.
Discipleship is accomplished as we walk together in service, growth being the result! Every department of a church should recruit, train and release as many people as possible into ministry. He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Ephesians 4:16 NLT). We encourage our leaders to draw people into their ministries by imparting the vision and importance of what they are doing, and then to do it together! As a person serves they will grow spiritually. Jesus said “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God…”(John 4:34a NLT). They will also grow in the sense of belonging, ownership and responsibility in the church!
The discipleship model Jesus gave is easy to understand. First He said “follow me.” Next He invited them to “Help Me.” Then He “helped them” and eventually they were ready to be released! This thinking must at the core in all of our ministries. As we tell our leaders “getting your tasks done is very important, but not as important as the people you are working with!”