A few years ago, I heard a young pastor by the name of Craig Groeschel speak on a topic he had just written a book on: It: How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It. His words challenged me:
“Some ministries have it. Some don’t. Most churches want it. But few have it. When a church has it, everyone can tell. And when one doesn’t, everyone can tell. It is always unique. It is always powerful. It is always life changing. By now you’re probably asking, as I did, what exactly is it?”
And he was honest in his answer, “I don’t know.” But he went on to say,
Here’s what I do know. If you’ve ever been part of a ministry or church that had it, you knew you were part of something special. In other words, you knew it when you saw it. And it was an awesome work of God that couldn’t be contained, couldn’t be harnessed, and couldn’t be explained… I can’t tell you exactly what it is. But we know that God makes it happen. It is from Him. It is by Him. It is for His glory. We can’t create it. We can’t reproduce it. We can’t manufacture it. It is not a model. It is not a system. It is not the result of a program. When a church has it, when a ministry has it, lives are changing, and everyone around knows it.
Everyone wants to be part of it.
I revisit this book every year, and I ask, does our church have it? Does our Women’s Ministry have it? If so, I pray we won’t lose it. I pray we would continue to see lives changed and God at work in ways we can’t explain and we can’t take credit for.
I also recently read David Platt’s book Radical, in which he asked two questions that I continually ponder.
(1) Is your life marked by desperation for the Spirit of God?
(2) Is your church characterized by a desperate dependence on God?
David Platt goes on to challenge his readers to not ask God for what we know we can accomplish, but to ask God to do those things that only He can accomplish.
When we lose that desperate dependence on the Lord, when we start doing things in our strength, we lose it. We stop seeing God working in ways that only He can do.
What are some practical things we can do to insure that our ministries have it and keep it?