To be honest, there are quite a number of factors that can affect church growth, they range from spiritual to physical. However, I’ve realized that a minister who knows the God that called him and walks according to His direction cannot go wrong in ministry.
While there may be a seemingly generic way of running church ministry, every minister that is divinely called by God is expected to have proprietary or specific things he does to grow his or her ministry, and this things can only be gotten from God, The Caller. This means that if the called doesn’t know the Caller, his ministry will not stand the test of time.
Just last night, I was at a Senior Ministers Conference hosted by Dr Isaiah MacWealth, and one of the things he said that really touched me is that “Just because you know what God can do or has done doesn’t mean you know God. To know God, you have to know what God likes”. Just because you know I have a car and a house doesn’t mean you know me. Just because you know I have a wife and kids doesn’t mean you know me. You may know all those things and still not be able to establish a quality relationship with me. To establish quality relationships with anyone, you have to focus on knowing what they like and what they don’t like, not what they have or what they can do.
You’re probably thinking about it now, right? Just because you asked how my wife and kids are doing over the phone doesn’t mean you know me. Of course asking shows that you care, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you know me. In fact, there are people who doesn’t like to be asked anything about their family, not because they don’t like their family, but because they prefer to keep their family life private. So asking such people about their family may put them off and ruin your chances of having a relationship with them.
This is the edge every pastor should have over his congregation. If what you offer your congregation is equal to what you have, then your ministry will struggle. What you have within must be greater than what you offer or preach. There must always be a well within that your congregation cannot run dry. While your congregation may feed on revelatory knowledge from your teachings, you have to feed on your relationship with God. It is your relationship with God that will give birth to the revelations you preach to your congregation. It’s unfortunate that many pastors study to prepare a sermon, rather than studying to know God. You can’t know God and not have a sermon. I honestly don’t need to prepare a sermon to give a revelatory teaching about my God.
Think about it, do you need to prepare a sermon to talk about your dad? No way! If they wake you up in the middle of the night, you’d have things to say. And for everytime someone requests that you talk about your dad, you’d always have something to say. The only limitation will be time, not the absense of knowledge. That’s how some effective ministers operate. Bishop David Oyedepo has often told us how he went to teach in a conference as the guest minister. When he got there, I noticed that they had changed the theme of the program, and he was to mount the podium in ten minutes. To everybody’s amazement, he preached a sermon that was related to the new theme, quoted several scriptures accurately, and testimonies emerged. That’s not a product of mere bible study, but a product of a relationship with God.
Having said that, before you built a church, did you get approval from God? Just because He called you doesn’t mean you have approval to do anything you like. It’s His call, so you have to do only what He likes. Psalm 127:1 says, “Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain”. Did the Lord tell you to build the church? If He didn’t, then you clearly labored in vain.
I’m not in a hurry to do anything as far as ministry is concerned. My interest is centered around the things that God is interested in. If God is not interested, then I’m not. Just because it feels good for the ministry doesn’t mean God wants it for the ministry.
Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not stating that this is the reason why your church isn’t growing, rather I’m trying to establish that the cure to frustration in ministry is to know what God likes and doesn’t like. He likes to build ministry matters by Himself, so instead of assuming what He’d do, go and seek Him to know what He wants to do.
As I conclude, it’s okay to have spiritual leaders or mentors in ministry, but before you go about finding spiritual mentors, find the God that called you. When you find Him, He’d tell you which mentor or leader to follow. And most importantly, He will guide you in the way that you should go.
I hope this has brought enlightenment to someone.
Remain ever blessed, in Jesus precious name!