I recently watched my son as he was teaching my grandson to ride a bike. As the scene unfolded before my eyes, I began to reminisce and become reflective, but in that moment, I also saw a need that we tend to overlook—the need for balance! Without it, you can spend a lot of time skinned up and hurting. That’s true for bike riding and it is true in the church as well.
Balanced ministry all begins with the right objective—seeking and obeying God’s vision. At this point in our church history, we have not lost our desire to be a family of friends on mission with God. We have not lost the priorities of worshiping God, building believers and sharing Christ with our world, while surrounding that all in prayer. In recent days, however, we have also sensed God is leading us to be a church of all generations that is focused on reaching the next generation. That vision moves us and guides us in the decisions we make along the way.
We also know that God blesses hard work, so we do not look for an easy way out. A sweet spirit is also essential in a church. A negative spirit can drive away more people than the best outreach can bring in! So, we seek to serve Christ and one another with attitudes of love, humility and encouragement. This way others get the credit and God gets the glory, and that’s okay with us. We know these attitudes are essential to our success as a church. This is the kind of church environment God enjoys blessing and we are committed to it, even if it requires constant effort.
Our Sunday morning worship services are vital to the success of our ministry. They are like 52 big events each year that need to be done with excellence. A great deal of time goes into planning and preparing each service. Our Sunday morning activities involve the largest number of members and guests, so they are worthy of our best efforts. We know we must do small group ministry well, in order to minister to every age range in our church and reach every age range in our community. Sunday School done right impacts every area of church ministry as people grow in Christ and are prepared to become church leaders.
Our deliberate focus on the next generation follows a very scriptural mindset. Throughout the Bible, God has emphasized the need to teach and nurture the next generation. We also understand that two-thirds of the Christians in America are saved before they become adults. It is strategic to be intentional about getting the gospel message to children and teens. In the bigger picture, we realize that the future of our church depends on our present investment in the lives of our children and teens.
We approach ministry with three core values. The first is a commitment to the Bible as the foundation for our beliefs and our practices. The Bible is without error as God is the ultimate author of the Bible. We will continue to be committed to strengthening families. We know God designed the church so that each member is a minister, not just the “trained professionals.”
My grandchild has successfully learned to ride the bicycle. I’m sure he will get even better with practice. But no matter his skill level, he must always start with good balance. So, must we.
Dave Frasure is CABA's Disciple-making Catalyst and pastors FBC So. Lebanon, Oh.