By David Lee, BCM/D Executive Director
Most of the decisions that you and I make are fairly simple. I choose which shirt or which pair of socks to wear in the morning and hope that they match! If they don’t, many will not notice and most will not care.
But some decisions we make set or reset the course of our lives. Dreams can find new life with good decisions. Dreams can die with bad decisions.
I have also learned that the impact of certain decisions is geared to a person’s season of life. It is not that decisions in one season of life are necessarily more difficult or that the consequences are greater than other seasons. It is just that the atmosphere and number of choices are directly related to that particular season of life.
What is true about an individual is also true about a church. I am a fan of January–not of the cold, but of the time and atmosphere of the year. January is usually the time we make new decisions that we call resolutions (or at least we revive the old ones we failed to keep in the past). We feel like we are starting again new and fresh. As a pastor I always embraced January as a new beginning for our congregation.
What are you thinking as a church leader as you begin 2011? We know that the world around us is changing rapidly. This is not an easy climate for decision-making. But we will have to decide. Even what we may refer to as “standing firm” in the now or the status quo is actually making a decision.
Here is some food for thought for us as church leaders in this New Year:
• Is there something we have been putting off in our walk with Jesus and our service through the church that we need to decide to do today?
• Have we reached the point that much of our walk as disciples has become mechanical, doing what we know to do without the joy and zest we once employed and enjoyed in serving Jesus and His church?
• Has our church become mechanical, routinely doing the same things over and over again with little or no kingdom results?
• Is our church at a point where we have begun to plateau or even decline, not because we are placing too much emphasis on growing the disciples that we have, but because we are not emphasizing enough what it means to be true followers of Jesus?
• Should 2011 be the year that my church and I choose to start something new? Are we faced with a new opportunity? Is there a new ministry that is needed? Do we need to think seriously about giving birth to a new congregation?
• Is it time for us to recognize that despite our rich heritage, we as a congregation are dying, and we need to think how we can celebrate our past, die with dignity, and find a way to pass on to others so that the ministry of our church can live even after we have gone home to our reward?
• Is it time for us to have a conversation about merging with another congregation, as difficult as that can be, so that our two struggling congregations can produce a new congregation with energy and life and ministry effectiveness?
• Is it time for us and our church to stop doing those things that have lost their meaning and effectiveness so that we can concentrate on the things that have true kingdom significance?
• Do we need in 2011 a genuine, old-fashioned (but contemporary), Holy Ghost revival that shakes us to our roots and ignites us to launch a movement for God?
I never said that making decisions is easy. I did say that decisions vary as we move through the various seasons of life. I also said that we do not have the luxury of avoiding choices. And by the way, did I mention that we are accountable to God for our choices?
Maybe I can help. If you want to talk, give me a call. You probably can help me as I make some of my decisions in this season of life. Now, that’s a cool thought—one Baptist helping another!
What a joy it is to serve alongside Maryland/Delaware Baptists!