The local church belongs to Christ. He gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:25), He is the head of it (Colossians 1:18), and He is the one who adds to it (Acts 2:47).

But those of us who serve as undershepherds want to be part of encouraging momentum in the ministry of the local church.

What can we do to encourage momentum in the work of the ministry?

  1. Pray—This should easily be not only our first answer, but our first action item. As author S. D. Gordon said, “You can do more than pray after you have prayed but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed.” If you want to make forward progress in ministry, make prayer a real priority. Schedule it personally, but also as a church. A few ways we have intentionally made this part of our calendar is
      • Staff meetings devoted to prayer
      • Monthly men’s prayer breakfasts
      • Ladies prayer walk—My wife leads this a couple times a year. Ladies walk around our campus, praying together specifically for the types of ministry that take place in the various locations.
      • Midweek prayer meetings—Several times a year, we devote a midweek Bible study time to a brief Bible study, with a longer season of church-wide prayer following.
  2. Preach—Biblical preaching is essential for forward momentum in the church. The exposition and application of Scripture should be central to church services and church life. Preach on Christ and what He has done. Preach on walking in the Spirit. Preach on yieldedness to the Lord and a personal relationship with Him. Spiritual maturity will follow biblical preaching.
  3. Discern—Spiritual leaders must stay in tune to the condition of the flock. One of the ways I do this this is by being alert during church services and following the promptings of the Holy Spirit to notice people who seem to be struggling or are absent. I do my best to reach out to them the following week. Another way I do this is by looking at attendance records in key areas—such as outreach and Sunday morning adult Bible classes. This helps to see trends of spiritual health for the church as a whole. Additionally, talk to teachers, deacons, and staff to know their needs as well as others who they may be aware of.
  4. Encourage—Encouragement goes a long way in strengthening our hands for the work of the Lord. Intentionally encourage those who serve on your staff team, lay leaders, and others in the church. Try to not be guilty of not noticing the burdens of others.
  5. Train—Invest in others through periodic times of training. Weekly staff meeting, monthly teacher training, and annual or bi-annual times of department-wide orientation are all helpful in casting vision as well as building knowledge and skill.

You might notice that all five of these momentum-builders are basic parts of local church ministry and spiritual leadership. That’s because true momentum comes from the Holy Spirit, but He often provides it through the ongoing disciplines of a servant leader. Invest yourself in what God has called you to do, and momentum for those who serve with you is sure to follow.

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