It is a blessing to visit a church that is alive, and it is disappointing to attend one that has no excitement. Activity and excitement alone do not constitute the making of a good church; however, a church with no plans and no vision will be filled with boredom and apathy.
We have the truth, the Word of God, and we should never be found guilty of boring people with it and limiting it only to our congregations. Every church must have a plan to reach their community and strengthen their congregation, and that plan should cause excitement among the brethren.
Every young preacher is susceptible to weariness and discouragement, but no one should allow weariness to hinder the progress of the church of God.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.—1 Corinthians 15:58
Do you have a vision for your church? Does your congregation understand your vision for the church? Are your members excited about your vision? If your vision is felt by your members, it is because you have found a way to relay that vision.
Keeping in mind that only God can bring life and excitement to a person’s heart, I would like to offer some suggestions of tangible ways any preacher can implement to bring renewed life to his church.
1. Bring Vision and Encouragement through the Preaching
The content of our messages is our highest priority, but how we preach is important as well. Though reproving is a necessary part of preaching, a delivery that is always condemning or condescending can bring discouragement rather than revival.
Preaching on sin, warning of dangerous movements, and exposing hurtful trends is not only necessary, but imperative. However, not all preaching should be of this sort. People who are hurting need healing, people who are discouraged need encouragement, and people who are babes need the milk of the Word. The proper balance of reproving and exhorting must constantly be considered and adjusted as necessary.
One helpful suggestion is to record every sermon title and passage on a spreadsheet. By frequently reviewing the sermon titles you can determine the general nature of your focus over a month or a year. Also, you can determine if you are providing a good balance of Old Testament passages compared to New Testament passages. In addition, sermon topics can be reviewed to determine if a certain trend has developed in your preaching and whether or not your focus is appropriate, timely, and healthy for your church at this time. Preachers must be careful not to ignore certain portions of Scripture and reviewing recent sermon texts can help to preach the “whole counsel of God.”
A series of sermons on a particular topic or book of the Bible can create interest and anticipation to the members. Guest preachers can also add interest and excitement. The preaching of the Word of God should be the primary focus of the church, and it is a sin for it not to be interesting, challenging, and encouraging.
2. Promote Special Days
Although too many activities can be detrimental to the health of a church, having no special events will allow boredom to creep into the church. One thing that creates interest and excitement is recognizing special days. There are holidays, Sunday school programs, revival meetings, patriotic days, and days that emphasize friends and family. There should always be an event to which the congregation is looking forward.
3. Train Your Congregation to Be Excited
Occasionally, you can utilize a small part of the service to train your people on how to be friendly and greet visitors. Using five minutes of the Sunday night or Wednesday night service can result in more people getting the vision and spirit of being a friendly church.
4. Involve Your Members
People are most excited when they are involved. Designating some members as greeters will not only make visitors feel welcome, it helps the members develop a servant’s heart. If your church has a parking problem, attendants should be assigned to alleviate any potential problems. If your church buildings are confusing, members can be stationed in key locations to give guidance to guests.
5. Develop an Evangelistic Music Program
The modern day trend of utilizing the world’s style of music into the church does not really create a spiritual atmosphere, but evangelistic music does. Music should speak to the heart and reveal a testimony of God’s grace and power. Many of the traditional songs reveal doctrine and truth that express a deep felt experience of God’s grace. We must train our musicians to prepare music that speaks to the heart and cultivates our Christian walk.
6. Soulwinning Should Become a Way of Life
When God’s people understand their responsibility to reach their community is not restricted to a weekly two hour block of time, the church will become alive for winning and discipling souls. There is no greater excitement for a church than when souls are being saved and when these new believers become an active part of the church.
7. Maintain an Upbeat Attitude Yourself
The pastor’s attitude is perhaps the most important ingredient in developing and maintaining an exciting atmosphere in the church family.
There will be times when you will become discouraged and tired, but you must remember the members will be influenced by your attitude. If you are upbeat and looking forward to the future, your spirit will influence others in the congregation. If you are negative and discouraged, the congregation will adopt the same tone. Every preacher should challenge his members to move forward and he should do so in a positive manner.
Dr. Lee Roberson often said, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” Christians today are seeking leaders whom they can follow. Leadership is not easy, but if it were easy everyone would be a leader. Preachers are called in a special way to rise above circumstances and lead people to greater spiritual heights. This is our calling and we must give ourselves to this great task of leading our churches and preaching the gospel to the entire world.