EZEKIEL 22:30 “I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land.  I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.”

When we work with churches as a coach or consultant we are charged to stand in the gap of unrighteousness and lethargy.  Our task is to be a bridge builder for the church to find gaps where the church is not carrying out the Great Commission and encourage the congregation to prayerfully seek new initiatives to be faithful to the harvest.

Colossians 4:5-6 “Be wise in the way you act toward outsider; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

As Church Consultants we coach congregations to take initiatives in developing effective ministries to reach pre-Christians.

As a Consultant and coach we help  the church take a  reality check and realize where the church will be in the next 5 to 10 years if current trends in the church continue.

We help the congregation move from subjective views to objective facts.

We help the congregation move from slow change to rapid change.  Ask what if? Questions.

We help the congregation catch a new vision of hope for the future.

Our goal is to build multiple-bridges to non-Christians in our ministry area.  We look at the local churches context.  We consider their weaknesses and strengths and target individuals and families the church can best minister to and meet their needs.

If we are working with a church that has been declining for the pat several years our task is to help the congregation diagnose what ministries and programs they have ministering to those already involved in the church family and what ministries and programs are focusing on those who are not yet part of the church fellowship.

We have the opportunity to challenge the church ministry staff and lay leadership to seek a renewal for a passion for souls a passion to save the lost.

One of the questions I ask the pastoral staff in one-on-one interviews is:  “Do you have the opportunity to share your faith with others?  If the answer is yes, “Tell me about the last person you shared the plan of salvation with?”

We constantly need to rekindle and renew our passion for lost people. We dare not lose our first love as we hunger and thirst after the newest church growth program out on the market.

I agree with the authors of Marketing for Congregations – Norman Shawchuck, Philip Kotler, and Bruce Wrenn: “The best marketing plan in the world cannot compensate for spiritual lethargy or confusion, so that none are able to listen in the silent closets of the heart where God awaits to communicate with us. Nor can a marketing plan counterbalance a lack of vision.”

I would add, a marketing plan can not compensate for a lack of passion and love for people who are not yet members of the Family of God.

The Apostle Paul reminds us: “If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t love others, I would only be making a meaningless noise like a loud gong, or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without love, I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would be of no value whatsoever.” I Cor. 13:1-3

If we are culturally relevant, but have not love, it profits us nothing. If we preach great sermons, but have not love, we are making noise like a loud gong. If we take mission trips and pay out tithe, but have not love, we are like clanging cymbals.

Take Initiative to Build Bridges

For many churches it Same O Same O year after year.  We talk about prayer and evangelism, but do little praying or outreach.  We need to take the initiative in building bridges to non-Christians.

  • We build bridges by accepting people as they are.
  • We are sensitive to the needs of non-believers.
  • We are to be ready for every opportunity God gives us to witness.
  • We see casual encounters as God encounters.
  • We initiate conversations like Jesus did in John 4:7

After we build a bridge we ask for a decision:  “Is there any reason why you shouldn’t accept Jesus at this time?”

The reason we want to come to training like this is to sharpen the sickle for a greater harvest.  We want to partner with Jesus in using all means to open the eyes of those who are spiritually blinded by Satan.

We want to lift the name of Jesus who will draw people to Himself.  John 12:32

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article that appeared this past summer with the title:

Article in the Wall Street Journal several weeks ago:

“Religious Words in Business – The key to Success and Intimidation”

  • “Using the name of God peppers a speech with authority.  It serves as a ‘closer and final word in the throes of debate.  It’s the lion’s roar in an impressionable jungle.’
  • The word angels or Angelic – imparts a sense of safety, freedom and good will, as do the words heaven, paradise, prayer and blessing.
  • Satan demonic, and hell, not surprisingly generate the reverse effect.
  • Revelation may be used to announce new technology. ‘iPod.s apps  are a revelation!’
  • Bible helps to identify a definitive document, such as an employee handbook.
  • An Exodus company is one born through a hostile spin-off.
  • The phrase cross to bear is effective in demanding job completion.
  • Solomonian is synonymous for wise decision-making.
  • To be Adanical is to be entrepreneurial.
  • To be Noahian is to be task oriented.

However the Wall Street Journal drew the line at one biblical word.  The paper strongly cautioned against its use in any business situation.  The word is JESUS. Apparently it is the corporate counterpart to fingernails on a chalkboard, a foghorn in the concert hall.  “For whatever reason.”  The Wall Street Journal argued, “Using Jesus name excites some and angers others.”  The writer concluded, “There’s something about that name.”

“At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  Phil. 2:10