Where Hell Can’t Prevail
Jesus has designed the church to be His vehicle through which He will work to fulfill His Father’s purpose. He said, “On this rock, I will build my church, and even the gates of hell can’t prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18)
How can leaders lead to build that kind of church? Here are four basics:
- WHY–Church leaders must keep in perspective what the mission of the local church is. Churches have a tendency to get involved in doing good things, but fail to do the most important thing. Jesus said, “Go into the world and make disciples.” (Matthew 28:19) The last command of Jesus should be the first concern of the church!
Most churches don’t intentionally forget the why—they just don’t do it. A lady was visiting a great cathedral in Europe with a group of tourists. The guide was explaining the unique architecture, structure, and artwork. Unfortunately, it had become a tourist attraction rather than a church. The little lady said, “Sir, has anybody been saved here lately?” That’s the question churches are hesitant to ask—but it’s the most important question.
The main thing is to know what the main thing is and to keep the main thing the main thing!
- WHAT–Churches must be willing to take a risk and follow where Jesus is leading. The temptation is to stay where we are comfortable. The task of the church is to comfort the afflicted, but also to afflict the comfortable! If you are not willing to take a risk and do something different, you just might miss out on the reason why you were born at this time.
The ministry is done by the laity. Every member is a minister. Every member contributes!
The ministry of the church is to continue the work of Jesus in the world. Jesus said, “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day.” (John 9:4)
- WHERE–The church in the Book of Acts determined where it would serve by finding a need and meeting it. (Acts 2:47) Meaningful ministry meets needs.
Many churches waste time and energy doing things that don’t need to be done. Churches need to keep the ministry simple so people can understand and volunteer to serve.
Many churches are ineffective because they keep doing the things that they have always done. If you keep doing the same things you have always done, you will keep getting the same results.
WHEN–God’s timing is always perfect. Leaders need to prayerfully discern WHEN an emphasis or a ministry needs to be initiated. We must be careful to follow God’s timing—not ours.
The church must be prepared to walk through doors when they open. Doors won’t stay open long. People who are sensitive to where God is leading see an open door, then take the risk of walking through that door.
A church cannot be like an octopus on roller skates—initiating a lot of activity but going nowhere! The church that the gates of hell can never prevail against is one that practices why, what, where, and when!
What prevails in your church?