Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

Magnets Attract

Have you ever owned a magnet? During my growing up years I had several magnets. I would often set at our dining room table and experiment with them.

Here’s what I learned: MAGNETS ATTRACT!! They pull something in their direction!! Exert influence on outside objects! Specifically, they attract metal objects. A connection automatically happens.

Here’s another lesson I’ve learned about congregations: some of them attract. Others of them don’t attract. In other words, some congregations are magnetic, whereas, other congregations are non-magnetic.

Why the strong contrast? Why are some congregations influential and others not influential? Why do some congregations fill meeting places and others are more effective at emptying meeting places? Why are some church parking lots full, whereas other parking lots look like they’ve been deserted?

One major reason for the difference relates to what a church has become. In many instances today, congregations lack magnet power. The magnet draws from a power source that’s beyond it. Likewise, attractive congregations have a power at work inside that comes from beyond them: the Holy Spirit. Gods Spirit flows through them freely. And remember this: no church can give to others what it does not first possess.

Another reason some congregations attract more than others is because they care more about others than they do themselves. People are attracted by any organization that’s making genuine differences in the lives of others on the outside. For this to happen, however, congregations must first die to themselves before they can come alive to others.

A third reason some congregations are more magnetic than others is because they’re scratching where people around them are itching. Sermons and lessons that are taught will reveal Gods presence for meeting their needs. Ministries are in operation that give assistance and direction when suffering and struggling are present.

Reason number four as to why some congregations are magnetic is attached to people outside wanting to be part of their fellowship. In other words, when those outside see us, and realize they need and want what we have to offer. While Christians are often viewed by society as being weird and odd, they are really meant to be different. And it’s their difference that makes them warmly and contagiously magnetic.

Moving to a fifth reason why some congregations are magnetic: those outside see in these fellowships a liveliness and energy that’s literally enticing. Desirable. Greatly attractive. But while some congregations give continuous screaming evidence of their vitality, others are dead and have simply failed to realize it.

The biggest argument against God’s existence today by the world is the presence of an unattractive church. YOU hold an important key for having a church that’s attractive. But here’s the question: Will you be the vital key for personally portraying an attractive church in your community for this unhealthy age?? It must begin with YOU before the contagion can engulf others around YOU!!

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May 26, 2014 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spiritual Gifts, Spirituality | Leave a comment

Focusing on Flying

Large jetliners are amazing, aren’t they? For example: How are they able to get off the ground? Fly into the air? And soar above the clouds?

The problem with flying becomes even more greatly complex when the size and weight of the aircraft is considered. Flying one of these huge machines just must be impossible. Yet, persons in the aviation industry have learned how such an incredible feat can enter into the realm of the possible.

Shift gears with me: How do congregations cease being grounded and begin to fly? How do they get off the earth beneath? Move upward? Important questions, aren’t they? And Scripture indicates that congregations were designed to rise! Soar higher! Grow! Enlarge!

What are the underlying building blocks though that enable a congregation to get off the ground and soar as God intended? Consider the following responses.

  • As they lose sight of the ground. Jetliners fly as they move above ground level. Congregations that choose to remain on the ground must willingly lose sight of the ground if they are to reach the unrestricted air above them. Simply stated, ground level thinking will get you no higher than the ground.
  • As they function by faith in place of sight. It’s possible that congregations will only do what they can see and think they can do. When they choose to remain on the ground like this, however, they become unable to soar to those lofty peaks where GOD wishes to take them. Flying takes one on a flight path of unequaled adventure and excitement.
  • As they live by faith in the present and loosen themselves from bondage to past grounded ways. The eyesight of faith gives a church kingdom eyes which permit it to fly and soar into those new horizons of which they’ve never ever dreamed of before.
  • As they begin and continue to fly in the face of adversity. Turbulence makes flying difficult. A church that begins to fly will also experience turbulence. Turbulence will come from those inside the aircraft who really prefer to remain on the ground. These detractors will work overtime to get a church down and out of the air. Even countless reasons will be advanced to keep a church firmly grounded.
  • As they remain in the air and refuse returning to the landing pad. Granted, there’s often some great comfort with being on the ground as opposed to being in the air. But flying is only possible when those who fly choose to lose sight of the ground. Grounded thinking by of a few will eventually become the choice of the other passengers.
  • As the joyful pleasure of flying is actually experienced. Many congregations have remained on the ground for so long, they’ve been unable to experience joyous life in the air. Blindness to the joy of air life has created more grounds keepers than it has flight attendants. Never forget that one must fly in order to enjoy the thrill of flying.
  • As a congregation discerns the important distinction between life on the ground, and life in the air. Once this important difference has been experienced flyers will never be able to return to the ground again. Life in the air will consume and overwhelm them.

Let me end this way: To remain on the ground is to live and walk by sight alone. To soar high into the air, however, is to walk and live with GOD in the incredible environment of faith. Which will it be with you and your church?? On the ground, or, in the air??

May 14, 2014 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spirituality | Leave a comment

Seven Sure Fire Ways to Shrink Any Church

Healthy congregations engage in the kind of ministry that will keep them well and on track. They will nonetheless avoid those practices that will cause them to go backwards and take a downturn. What are the kinds of things that will cause a congregation to SHRINK?

  • As a church keeps doing things the same way they’ve always done them. Should a church continue in this recurring practice it will garner the same results. In short, it will get into a rut. And congregations are often guilty of falling into the trap of the seven last words of the church: “we’ve never done it that way before.”
  • As members of a church expect the church to serve them in place of being a congregation that serves the Lord and others. Christian service is always unselfish. It never settles into being happy only on the receiving end.
  • As a church focuses more on keeping numerous rules and regulations than it does on developing genuine Christian relationships. Caring and loving relationships help grow a church. Majoring on rules and regulations send a church on a downward spiral.
  • As a church assumes that those outside their walls will come to them, without recognizing the importance of making many personal invitations to attend. If these invitations aren’t made those outside won’t attend!! You can count on it!!
  • As you close your church off from the outside world. A church often becomes more concerned about its own activities than it does about seeking to draw outsiders inside their walls. When the foregoing happens, the church easily becomes a monument, monastery or morgue, more than being a movement.
  • As a church becomes a fellowship of fewer persons being involved in a congregations life. A church grows its strength and influence as more persons become involved and serve in its life. Churches need to broaden their base, and cease trying to control everything by a few persons.
  • As a church engages in ever growing gossip and negativity. When this happens a congregation becomes a slow but sure shrinking fellowship. Someone has well said that you attract more people with honey than you do with vinegar. Thus, become a “for” person, and not one who’s “against” everything!!

Now here’s the question: Are you helping SHRINK your church, or, SPREAD its influence??

 

May 7, 2014 Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Relationships, Service, Spirituality | Leave a comment