We Can’t Mess it Up!


Working with people as a pastor, a church planter, and with churches in the developmental work of revitalization, there always seems to be some angst when it comes to witnessing and evangelism. We have an awesome Partner in the work (the Holy Spirit), but there is a human element to much of this that falls to us.

While there are some people who are gifted in evangelism, for the rest of us it’s often challenging. So too, there is angst when it comes to church development because such efforts always include change – and much of it can be drastic. Whether its resistance to the change itself or fear of a person’s responses to the change makes little difference.

The CCCC Faith Statement, “We believe that for salvation of lost and sinful man regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential,” gives me tremendous comfort. Unlike so many of the other efforts in the life of the Church, regeneration requires nothing from us. It is solely and completely the work of the Spirit (John 1:13; John 3:5-8; Ephesians 2:8-9). In other words, we can’t mess it up!

One of the greatest challenges I see in church development is helping people to fully rely on the Spirit in such matters. For some reason, many parishioners mistakenly think the work of the church is up to them. This can translate into pride when things are going well, and into panic when ministry just doesn’t seem to be bearing fruit. But the reality is that we do indeed have a Partner. While we have responsibility in some parts of the Church’s commission, the Holy Spirit has responsibility in all of it. We are never alone – and there are some things that He does without us. If we are faithful to what Jesus calls us to do, we can expect the Holy Spirit to show up and do immeasurably more than we could have imagined.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20

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