“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:14-15
Church growth Specialist Dr. Thom Ranier’s recent research concludes, to his surprise, there is little correlation between a church’s location and its growth. So what is the biggest factor in a church breakthrough? If there is any one basic lesson to learn, it is to lead the church to an outward focus, literally back to the basics.
Can I paraphrase what Dr. Thom is saying here?
“Where your building is located is not nearly as important as where your heart is located.”
And what are the basics Dr. Ranier is talking about? Here’s a hint – Great Commission - as in evangelism and discipleship.
A little less than a year ago we did something that has been significant in the process of relocating the heart of FredWes. On the week of Thanksgiving we decided to prepare our usual Thanksgiving feast for our annual church Thanksgiving dinner, but instead of enjoying it ourselves we decided to share it with the good folks at the EconoLodge. Since then we have had several more opportunities to serve them and are planning other outreaches there.
What has happened in the months since we began our outreach to EconoLodge? Let me list them for you:
1) Our weekly giving has increased
2) Our attendance has increased
3) Several people from there have been showing up at worship services and one has become a member at FredWes!
4) God has led us to more exciting opportunities for outreach! In just a few weeks we will receive financial commitments toward drilling a well in a remote African village. We will have the chance to support Rich and Kara Tippey in their mission trip to Guatemala, and in February we will take a team to minister at Hephzibah Children’s Home!
5) Twenty of our core people have committed to reach one person for Christ by April 30, 2014.
Relocating the heart is the result of being moved upon by the Spirit of God until His priorities are our priorities and His passion is our passion. That change happens one heart at a time.
God is moving on hearts at FredWes.
Is it happening in your heart?
Are your priorities being challenged or changed?
Are you praying for the salvation of specific unsaved people?
Do you find yourself becoming more passionate about spreading the Gospel?