In Matthew 16, Jesus tells Peter, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it” (v. 18). When I compare this statement with the church in America as a whole, I am left with the same problem as Jim Putman. Either Jesus is a liar because the gates of hell are prevailing against the church; or the church that is being prevailed against isn’t Jesus’ church at all. The promise from Jesus is that the gates of hell would not be able to stop HIS church.
What are the problems, issues facing the church in America?
I think there is a myriad of issues that is causing the church not to win. One of the issues I see is that most churches don’t have a play book on how to move people spiritually. They don’t have alignment among their leaders, therefore there is no alignment amongst the church members in how to move people spiritually. In short, everyone is using their own play book when it comes to church.
At Eastside, we have/are continuing to develop our play book as a team. We seek unity among our core leadership teams (elders, business team, and staff team). The way we do this is by having one play book that we all support and promote. I will not bore you with the play book rather I will provide you with our top 10 CORE CONVICTIONS that forms the basis of our play book as I see it. These are not listed in any particular order.
- Theologically. Eastside is very conservative. We believe Jesus to be the ONLY WAY to heaven. Methodologically, we are very liberal. We see theology and methodology as being two separate issues.
- Every Christian is meant to live a life of “All-In” with Jesus.
- You move people spiritually one conversation at a time.
- Each Christian should take their spiritual next step regardless of where they are on their journey. It’s a journey, not a destination.
- We count people not because we care about numbers, rather we count people because they are souls to be shepherded.
- Span of care is 1:5. We believe that the people God has entrusted to us should be shepherded, and the best span of care is one team leader to every 5 volunteers.
- We are a church of small groups and discipleship happens best in small groups.
- We will embrace change to make a bigger impact in/for the Kingdom of God – especially as it relates to the next generation.
- Small group leaders are the primary disciple makers.
- Everything we do has to be intentional. We have to be intentional as leaders. Time is too short.
What would you add? Do you have a play book? How does your church move people spiritually?