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Multiplication of Ministry 

Everyone is given at least one spiritual gift. No exceptions.  Those gifts need spiritual energy, a renewable Holy Spirit resource.

In the most alive, happening churches, only 25% are functioning with their gifts in this way.  Imagine if all were.  What would we be like in terms of impact?

Experts tell us that it takes repeated effort and attempts to find your place in a new church.  By one expert’s study it takes six repeated attempts taking place over a year or more.  To use a diving board analogy, first you  jump into the  pool,  and then you find your place, your lane.   Don’t get out of the pool and then decide to stop diving in.  It  takes repeated attempts to find your place.  You may need to ask for help along the way. 

One index of the health of a church is growth, reproduction, and multiplication.   In fact, church leaders  who promote church growth first are skipping the most important factor by not first dealing with church health.  Healthy churches ordinarily grow.   Churches without new professions of faith tend to have a deficient health, not just a poor outreach plan. 

What is true for churches is also true for individuals.  Spiritually healthy individuals reach others.  It’s irrepressible.  It’s a kind of spiritual law.   Health is evidenced by reproduction. 

What is true for individuals and churches is true for the ministries of a church.   A healthy ministry reproduces.  It has open seats.  It envisions people who are not yet part of that team becoming part of it.   

So, we need empty seats around our dinner table that we designate open for people we will be inviting in.  We need seats around our small groups and committees and ministry task forces to represent the people not yet here.  Some of Covenant’s best leaders have not even attended a worship service here yet.  Some of Covenant’s most fruitful witnesses are not even believers yet. 

Our staff team’s over-arching goal in this ministry year is Multiplication.  Multiplication is defined as ministry intelligence pressed down into Covenant by multiplying leaders.  A leader is someone  who not only agrees with our vision passively but can actively support it.   A leader is not just someone who actively supports the vision, but who is fluent and articulate enough to teach this vision’s distinctives to others.   A leader then backs up those words and practically lives out our vision and influences others to do the same.  When a participant at Covenant does all those things, that  means they have a deep stakeholder’s passion for ministry.

That’s what our current sermon series on Thrive is all about.  It’s about creating more passionate stakeholders who are not only convinced but sold out to live this vision out in their personal life and the context of church ministry. 

The “THRIVE” sermon series is one of several prongs to focusing us on multiplication. The small group discussions serve to not only drive this series home, but also to increase participation.  In January we are offering a Leadership weekend to launch the next generation of Covenant’s leaders into deeper commitment.  Might that describe you or someone you know? 

Pray for the work of ministry multiplication among us.   God is doing great things at Covenant.  What would we look like if we double the number of deeply committed, actively serving, individuals?  I pray that we find that out, and that it blows our minds when that threshold is realized. 

Reaching Out, Positive Signs, A Huge Challenge and Positive Things to Do

1. Positive Signs

The glass is at least more full than empty when it comes to connecting to people with the message of life in Christ.  While they might not see themselves as lost, they do use words like tired, thirsty, lonely, hungry, broken, stressed, unfulfilled, incomplete and empty.  Fortunately, God is so big that he addresses every one of those longings!

  • Don’t focus on whether your friends see church as irrelevant to life.  Focus on the fact that  the vast majority of your friends would be willing to come to a worship service at your church if you invited them.
  • Don’t focus on whether your friends are indifferent to what the Bible says about their values and morals.  Focus on the fact that when they come to church, your friends seek spiritual help, and are open to what scripture has to say.  
  • Don’t focus on how your friends don’t see faith in Jesus as the only path to God.  Focus on the fact that they’ve already accepted a worldview that is spiritual, and that worldview has a Jesus-shaped void, and that they have a positive view of Jesus.

75% of Americans think they will go to heaven.  96% celebrate Christmas, 92% believe in God, and 84% consider religion to be important in their life. 

2. A Huge Challenge:   David Kinnaman spent more than five years presenting to Christian leaders about the perceptions of Christians, based upon his bestselling book unChristian. “In the research for that book project, our team discovered that 84% of young non-Christians say they know a Christian personally, yet only 15% say the lifestyles of those believers are noticeably different in a good way.” 

3. Easy Positives things that we can all do: 
Look for ways to “surprise” non-Christians with grace. 

Dare to be known first and foremost for your love, and see what happens. The most important first step you can take is to make sure your friends know that you personally care for their well-being. Invite questions. Be gentle and don’t rush or push. Remember that God is at work.

What do you like to do in your free time? Stop doing your leisure-time activity with only Christian friends. Ask questions.  Dare to find out the impressions of those who do not identify themselves as Christians. 

Let them know that you see the image of God stamped on everyone.  That you have a faith that believes God is working in everyone, even those who don’t yet believe.  And that your faith teaches you to see value in everyone, respect everyone, and seek the best for everyone. 

Posted by Bob Myers with

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