More “Wood” Than People? (Part 3) — Rev. Scott Gress

church semi-emptyMany followers of Jesus, and the congregations where they are members, are becoming less engaged in Jesus’ mission of seeking lost people and making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).

Rev. Scott Gress addresses how Jesus’ followers (and Christian congregations) can reverse this trend and become an evangelizing people.   In Part 3 of his series, “More ‘Wood’ than People” Rev. Scott Gress writes,

So after repentance and a return to God’s Word and worship, what can those who remain in a weakened church actually do? In a world that wants silver bullets the best I can offer is that no matter which one or combination of the above is at play, the strategy is to shift the existing culture from an internal focus to an external focus.

Sound difficult? Sound too simplistic? Sound counterintuitive? Maybe. Yet often the best way to care for self is to care for others. The best way to meet your needs is to meet the needs of others. The best way to feel good about yourself is to (in the name of the Lord) do good to others. This isn’t the time to sit in meetings arguing about what to do or how to do it and insist on a voter’s meeting for approval. You will waste so much time and energy and likely nothing productive will happen.

So start with a few and start small. Like the proverbial snowball going downhill it will gain momentum and build until it takes over the whole church and by God’s grace their personality will be known to be what God wants it to be: loving, caring, selfless, authentic, genuine, humble or as Jesus says, “salt and light.”

Start small doing what? Something new. Something positive and selfless and loving. Baking cookies for the fire department, sending thank you cards to the teachers at the school across the street, a few helping to start a blessings in a backpack program. Something new. Celebrate and share the story in church. Keep it going. Ask for help and thank them when they do. Make it an event. Then…then do your homework to be even more intentional with externally focussed ministry. But that is for another blog.

To read this article in its entirety, visit Scott’s blog .

Scott Gress is called by Lutheran Counseling Services and partners with the FL-GA District of the Lutheran Church as an independent contractor. He specializes in Leadership Training, Consulting, Coaching and Coach Training. Contact Scott to continue the conversation or experience a free sample coaching session. or

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