Under New Management

I once served as a Transitional Pastor in a church that had a basketball gym.

Local FBI employees used the gym once a week to play basketball. One day I was alone in the church office and an FBI agent came and asked me a question about facilities. I didn’t know the answer and explained to him that I was new at the church and was only there until the next Senior Pastor was called. He responded, “That’s okay. I heard the church was under new management.”

A lot of churches in our day need to be under “new management.” Not the kind built on human strength and wisdom. We are in desperate need for churches to be built on the Lordship of Jesus and the strength He gives. Too many churches today are weak in outreach and evangelism because they are built on human strategies that are smooth, slick, and shiny. Built on correct doctrine but void of God’s power. Built on secular marketing but no burden for lost souls. Built on political correctness but absence of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastors can lead their churches to function in the power of the Holy Spirit by being intentional in the following areas.

  1. Make prayer a prominent part of your church and worship service. Encourage people to come to the altar during the service as you lead in prayer. Challenge small group leaders to see prayer as a major part of their weekly meetings. Commit to making prayer central to staff/volunteer leader meetings, deacon meetings, and business meetings. Create a prayer room and keep prayer requests current. Weave prayer and a dependence on God through everything the church does.
  2. Preach sermons on how the early church totally relied on God for open doors of ministry, protection, wisdom, and provision. Make applications to how your listeners can live dependent on God.
  3. Consider challenging your church to read a devotional book together for one year that emphasizes the Lordship of Jesus and dependence on God. When I pastored a church, we bought copies of the devotion, “Experiencing God Day By Day” by Henry and Richard Blackaby. We sold them at our cost and went through the devotional for a calendar year. I kept the devotional before the church by quoting from it, mentioning it in church emails, and asking people what God was showing them in their reading of the devotional. I saw a spiritual change in our church and people’s lives.
  4. Consistently share all the God stories that the church experiences. Celebrate the greatness of God and how He alone works when we depend totally on Him.

As a young child attending church with my grandmother, I would often hear the saints in that country church sing with gusto:

“Brethren, we have meet to worship

And adore the Lord our God;

Will you pray with all your power,

While we try to preach the Word?

All is vain unless the Spirit

Of the Holy One comes down;

Brethren, pray and holy manna

Will be showered all around.”

(George Askins)

The early disciples were told to tarry until they were endued with power from on high. Georgia is our mission field and desperately needs to hear the good news about Jesus. Join with me in praying for a move of God that would invade our lives and place our churches under “new management.”

Published February 24, 2022