Do Yourself a Favour!

It’s Easter Sunday tomorrow.   That is the single most important day of your calendar as a pastor and leader.

People will come to church who have never been before or only been occasionally.

There are many things you could do to make this service great.  Advertise, encourage people to invite friends, plan a new series and start it this Sunday to draw people in to returning next week.

It’s probably too late to make major changes this late in the day, but if you are pastor or preaching tomorrow, let me tell you one thing you can do.  One favour you can give yourself.

Make an appeal for salvation.

At the end of the service, clearly explain what Jesus did and how to become a Christian.  Then boldly ask if anyone would like to make that step today.  Then invite them forward.  Then…

1.  Pray with them.  Lead them to Jesus

2. Record their details.  Name, address and phone and email as a minimum.  Then call them in the week.

3. Lead the church in a little rejoicing.  Let them know heaven rejoices.

What if no one responds?  My first answer to that is stop being so negative.  What if someone does?

My second answer is this: even if no-one responds … you are creating a culture where people expect altar calls and expect non-Christians to actually be in church.  That can only help you build a growing, missional church.

Advertisements

Spirit Filled

Image

It’s not enough for one man to be Spirit filled and flowing in the gifts. 
It’s not enough for there to be a man of God to come to and bring people to when emergencies and problems arise.

The fivefold ministry must return to its Biblical purpose and mandate and equip people to minister and serve supernaturally. We must be releasing people into the baptism in the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We must be enabling people to walk into the callings and destinies that God has given them even from inside the womb. 

The world is never going to stand back and say “what an awesome man”, “what a glorious prophet”, “what an anointed apostle”. But if the awesome man, the glorious prophet and the anointed apostle do what God called them and designed them to do and equip and inspire and challenge the Christians to live in love and peace and life, and minister supernatural life and deliverance and healing everywhere they go, then the world will stand back and go “what an awesome church”, “what glorious Christians”, “what an anointed co-worker”… and then we will impact the world in such a way that Jesus will be able to return in our generation.

That is why one of our unmovable, unshakable pillars at Tree of Life Church – in every Tree of Life Church – is “full of the Spirit”. Not just the pastor, not just the Conways, but every single person full of the Spirit. 

We need to ensure our churches have gateways where people can receive the Spirit on a regular basis (different people – let’s not fall for the old “we leak and need top up” nonsense) and we need pathways in which people can understand the gifts and how to flow in them.

We have a two week course called “Prophetic Workshop” in which we get people baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues and prophesying. I am currently writing an 8 week course on how to discover your giftings in the local body of believers. This is something we are going to do deliberately, intentionally because it is how we want our church to look.

When you decide that your church needs to be like this: you need to decide the gateway and pathway for yourself.  Will you give altar calls for the Holy Spirit baptism on Sunday mornings?  In the small groups?  If so, why?  If not, why not?  Think about these things in the light of your situation – there is no right or wrong answer as long as there are gateways.

We have one month every year in which we preach and teach on the Holy Spirit and His gifts.  Then we will give public appeals to be filled with the Spirit each week.  We will then have further open appeals in the week.  I am in the process of ensuring all our small group leaders and lead someone in the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a quiet, calm, no-nonsense manner.  Your situation may be different, but you have to have a plan.

A gateway is the way in, but a pathway is the way along.  Some people may come to your church from a church where tongues is a swear word – or (even worse) a kooky charismatic church where tongues was misused and prophesy was abusive.  How are you going to teach and train those people how to flow in the gifts in a way which is encouraging, comforting and edifying to the entire church?

The way you do this must be deliberate – it cannot be haphazard.  Take some time this week to make a plan – a God-inspired plan – and then when you are confident with it, communicate it to your leadership and put it in place.

Every pastor should be able to answer these two questions succinctly and accurately:

1. How can I be baptized in the Holy Spirit?

2. Where can I learn more about the gifts around here?

Selah!

Social Media

Image

One of the key facets of planting a church is social media.  We have a very tight social media strategy that involves key posts every day of the week.

On Monday, we celebrate the weekend.  If people are becoming Christians, getting healed, or have stories of how God has helped them, then that is shared.  We celebrate the people who invite people, the people who are serving above and beyond what you would imagine, and we tell you who the superstars of the week are!

On Tuesday, we always promote our leaders and just praise them so people get an idea of what it means to be involved in Tree of Life Church.

On Wednesday, we post a reminder of our purpose, vision or culture.  Our purpose is to “inspire you to dream, challenge you to live the dream”, our culture is “Full of the Word, Full of the Spirit, full of the nations, full of love”, and our vision is to build a church on the complete work of Christ that inspires and challenges people to dream big and live their dreams.  So we pick at that, reinforce it, elucidate on it.

On Thursday, we start to get people excited for Sunday (and Saturday now!).  We tell people why our church services are going to be awesome.  Why not only should they not miss the service but they should round up their unchurched friends and drag them with.

On Friday I share some personal stuff about my life.  People like to know that stuff!

On Saturday, it’s all about the weekend.

Sunday I rest from social media apart from to go on a few friend’s pages and see how they are doing!

Everything we do on social media is deliberate and intentional.  That way we are building a community.  Over 200 people a month find our church website from a social media site.  Over 300 people go straight to listen to a message on our church website from a social media site.  There is power in this.  Real power to influence and help people to know who you are and know what you are.  In this age, brand is everything and social media is a great way to share the brand and brand values.

Church Planting Today

There is still a need for hundreds and thousands of new churches in the United Kingdom.  Churches that will do whatever it takes to impact their community and their nation.  Churches that will change the world.  Churches that will be full of the Word, full of the Spirit, full of the nations and full of love.

If God is calling you to church plant, then in all your learning and preparing, make sure you do it!  Do what God has called you to do – don’t let the opinions of others ever stand between you and God’s call.

Paul said “if I was trying to please man, I would not be pleasing God.”  Stop giving a rip about what people are happy with you and not happy with you and do what God calls you to do.