In all of our minds we have an idea of what success is. Lots of money, great job, types of possessions, social status, etc. We've all thought about it when our head hits the pillow at night. As Christians we are called to a different kind of success. A success that when experienced here on earth does not benefit us in this world but glorifies the God of all creation.
Some of you are reading that and thinking, 'Hmmm, that sounds mighty churchy, and when I look at most 'popular' Christians in this culture they seem to be doing just fine.'
To be honest, at some level I agree with you. Being in the 'church business' I see a lot of pastors and a lot of churches and ministries. We have lost the motivation to proclaim Jesus' name above the name of our church. As pastor of The Rescue my goal is that we would always raise the flag of Jesus Christ higher and louder than any flag of The Rescue Church. I pray that even my position as pastor would not get in the way of the fact that we all have the same teacher and His name is Jesus!
In order to achieve this success for the glory of God, I believe the church needs to lay the foundation for souls to be saved. At The Rescue we call it our 'Process of Discipleship'. This is where no matter who you are, you will find yourself in this process and deepening your walk with God.
Our first step is our 'Christ Centered Service'. This is simply what we do on Sunday mornings. There should never be a Sunday when you come to church and Jesus is not proclaimed. Then we have a step called 'Starting Point'. This is where I, Pastor Cory, want to take some time to get to know you. This can simply be a coffee on me; we sit down and assess where you're at on the journey. From there we want our people to join a 'Small Group'. This is nothing new, but we believe that joining other families once a week in someone's home can greatly encourage you in life's trials. From there we have our 'Leadership Development' stage. This is where we get our people involved in the work of God. This could be helping in one of our age level ministries (nursery, children, and teens), being apart of our music ministry, or our Intro Team that sets up every Sunday. There are many more opportunities than this, but it's very important to us that we teach the saved to serve. Our last step of our 'Process of Discipleship' is church planting. I believe that church planting is a necessity for reaching the unsaved. We want to be known as the church plant that plants. We never want to become the 'drawbridge church' that is more worried about keeping everyone safe within, but rather engaging the world outside our walls with the Gospel of Jesus. As we endured the challenges and obstacles of planting The Rescue, we found that God was waiting for us to be obedient to His calling.
This is merely a process and one that will most likely be tinkered with, but our view of success will never change. Letting God's love work through The Rescue and bringing people into relationship with Him.
We must always be listening to God and when he tells us to go and make disciples, we have no choice to make, we must go.