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The High Impact Pastor - Developing a High Impact Church

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
June 14, 2022 6:00 am

The High Impact Pastor - Developing a High Impact Church

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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June 14, 2022 6:00 am

In these challenging days, have you ever stopped to consider how your pastor’s doing? In this program, Chip begins a new series called – “The High Impact Pastor: Building God’s Church Jesus’ Way”. He’ll offer hope to church leaders who are discouraged and struggling… and share how everyday people – like you and me – can support ‘em!

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In the midst of these challenging days, have you ever stopped to consider how your pastor is being affected by everything that's happened in the world? I mean, how do they continue to teach God's Word and recover from the pandemic and some people at church and a lot of people not at church? Have you really thought about what your pastor needs?

That's today. Stay with me. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. The mission of these daily programs is to intentionally disciple Christians through the Bible teaching of Chip Ingram.

I'm Dave Drouy. Thanks for joining us as we kick off a brand new series called The High Impact Pastor, Building God's Church Jesus Way. Over the next few programs, Chip's going to specifically focus on encouraging pastors and to help us better understand the context and motivation for this series. Chip's with me here in studio now and Chip, share with us why these messages are so important for all of our listeners. Well, Dave, you know, the church is in fact Jesus' hope for the world.

He said he would build his church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it. And what I want our listeners to know is that healthy churches are dynamic and healthy churches make people feel accepted and they grow spiritually and they make a difference. And yet, we have been through the most devastating time in our lifetime in terms of what's happened in pastors' lives. And what I want our listeners to hear is they're discouraged.

They're going through difficult times. It's not just that people, quote, aren't coming back to church. Many pastors don't have enough money to pay their bills. I was with a pastor recently who four of his pastoral friends in his area of the country, four of them have committed suicide. I don't think the average person gets up each morning thinking, hey, I wonder how my pastor is doing or my pastors if it's maybe a larger church. And what I want them to hear is this is what Jesus wants to say to pastors here and all around the world. You know, we have now these large churches across America that are half empty and people watching online and pastors wondering, you know, what's going to happen?

How are we going to make it through this? We're beginning to see the ice thaw in terms of the pandemic, but now is the time that the church needs to be the church and the church can never be the church, Dave, unless the pastors are healthy. I want our listeners to know what Jesus wants to say to his pastors and what he wants to say to us so we can support and help them. Well, thanks for that setup, Chip. Well, before we dive into this series, let me encourage you to try using Chip's message notes while you listen. They contain his outline, scripture references and much more. Chip's notes will really help you remember what you hear and maybe even share what you're learning. To download these message notes, just go to the broadcasts tab at livingontheedge.org.

App listeners tap fill in notes. Well, with that, here's Chip with his message, developing a high impact church. You know, we are in and are going through a global crisis, and I don't know that there's ever been a more difficult time to be a pastor of a local church. I did webinars during all the pandemic, and I heard from pastors literally from all the continents. And what I heard was, you know, once we couldn't meet on the weekends and once we went through crisis, so much of what we saw in our people was they weren't fully devoted followers.

They haven't necessarily responded the way we prayed and hoped. I started out as a young pastor in a very tiny, tiny church in a rural area in the middle of nowhere. So I know what it's like to have 25 or 30 people in the church and wonder how you're going to make it and be the only person. Fast forward some years later, I ended up in a pretty good-sized city, and the Lord's hand was on it, and thousands and thousands of people showed up, and people put messages on the radio and the internet, and it went around the world.

And I have to tell you that although that looked very successful and I was very grateful, I saw a lot of mistakes. I saw that even though thousands of people showed up, it was only a small percentage that I would say were fully devoted to Jesus. Then God moved me in a time later in my life to lead a parachurch organization that helped pastors all around the world.

And so I got to go all these places, all these continents and countries and see different models, whether in Southeast Asia or South America or Africa. I saw God work in China. And what I've come to at this point in my life is how do we follow the Jesus way of building His church? You know, perhaps we put too much energy around that weekend service as the only real measurement of what makes a great church. But I want you to know that I think God is going to use this time, like He has in all of history, to do something great in His church. And I think we need to get back to the Jesus way.

How did Jesus do it? Pause for a moment and think with me. Do you realize that the world situation right now is very much like the world situation in the first century? Now, here's what I want you to know. I've had a lot of experience. I've made a lot of mistakes. And I want to share those with you. But I also have seen how God grows churches that are deep, churches that were literally multiplied by thousands and thousands of people.

And I believe that God uses ordinary people just like you and me to build those kind of churches. You know, I've had a journey for 40 years. And in the midst of that, I'm obviously married to Teresa, my wife. We have four grown children. I have 12 grandkids.

So I understand that what we're talking about, it doesn't happen in a vacuum. I mean, being a good father, being a good husband, dealing with the ups and downs of my children. Like you, one of my children went through a season of rebellion before he returned to the Lord.

And I had times where we've gone through cancer or I had injuries. And I just want to remind you that we're all in this together. And here's what I can tell you, that the eyes of the Lord are going to and fro throughout the whole earth right now, that he might strongly support those whose heart is fully his.

That's set in Chronicles 16. I want to tell you that he's not looking for someone smarter or better or more gifted than you. As I've been all around the world, it's regular men and regular women whose hearts are fully his, and he causes his power and the strength of his word to change us first and then use us to follow the Jesus way of growing disciples and really making a difference. I think we're living in a day similar to Ezekiel, where God would say, I search for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before me that I should not destroy it. And I think it's the saddest verse in all of the Old Testament, Ezekiel 22, 30.

And then he goes on to say, and I found no one. This seminar is so that together God will look down from heaven and he will say to you and he will say to me, I found one in Southeast Asia, in Africa, in Central America, in South America. This is where God will say to normal people like you and me, I have found pastors who don't want to build their kingdom.

They want to build my kingdom. And they have gone back to the very words and the very model of Jesus Christ himself. And they are building their churches the way Jesus formed his disciples. And so that's what we're all about. Before we jump in and really get started, let's go over some, I'm just going to call it my framework of things that I think we all agree on, but I want to make sure we agree on these. First, we are here to bring about glory to God, not to ourselves, not to our churches, not to others. We believe that the Bible is the very word of God and we're going to trust it, right?

Second Timothy three, every word is God's word and we can trust it. We believe there's a promise that Jesus said, I will build my church and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. That we have the power of the Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwelling in us. That we believe that we've been given a mission that God actually expects us to take the message of reconciliation to all the world. And that the power of the Holy Spirit working in his people is literally the hope of the world.

You know, that's what we know. That's what we believe. We believe that history is moving toward a climactic end and that the Lord will return and he'll make all things right. But until that time, he's entrusted to us under shepherds, to us pastors, take my word. I want you to fulfill this great commission, make disciples of every nation. I want you to seek and to say that which was lost just the way I did. And then I want your good works in your communities to so shout by your love in meeting needs, in caring for people, the marginalized, the poor, the hurting. Do it in such a way that people will glorify our Heavenly Father. That's the framework of what we're going to do together.

Now, here's what I want to tell you. God uses ordinary people. And our focus isn't to help your church get larger. It's not so that you'll get more money. And it's not necessarily that you'll have bigger buildings, even if you have a building.

My goal in our time is to help you have greater impact. Now, it may require bigger buildings. It may end up that more money comes in to do more ministry.

It may have a lot of things on the side. But here's what I'm going to tell you. When you go to the first century, what you realize, not very many trained people didn't have any buildings to meet. What they had was people that were fully devoted to Christ, and they followed the Jesus way. Here's the promise. I will build my church.

But here's our assignment. Go therefore and make disciples. My invitation to you is will you join me to rethink church, to just step back and us honestly say to one another, this is where the world is, and this is where the church is, and there's a gap. The church is not the salt and the light that we all know it should be. So how do we change that?

And could we even admit that it has to begin with us? I believe one of the primary principles that Jesus gave to his disciples and that he modeled for them is that God must work deeply in us before he's going to work significantly through us. Now, a high-impact pastor creates as he follows Jesus, as he's submitted to the Holy Spirit, as he trusts God's Word, and as he gathers a core group of people in community, a high-impact pastor grows what I call a high-impact church. And let me just give you a description of what a high-impact church is, the kind of church that really makes a difference in your world, in your community, in your village, in your middle-sized city, in your big city, in any place all around the world. A high-impact church has three characteristics.

You ready? Number one, lost people are regularly systematically coming to Christ. In the early church it was the Lord added to them daily. I'm not saying that it will necessarily happen daily, but you are aware and I'm aware that there's the great majority of churches all around the world. They go months, some churches even years before they see genuine conversions of people coming to know the Lord. A high-impact church has people coming to the Lord regularly.

Jesus said, Luke 19-10, I came to seek and to save the lost. You can have a church grow with lots of people, but if people are not coming to the Lord regularly, systematically, it's not a high-impact church. The second characteristic of a high-impact church is that found people, right, people that are saved, their lives are transformed. They actually mature, and they change, and they grow in their character. They're more loving, they're more kind, they have more peace, they're self-disciplined, and they minister to other people. They make a difference in the lives of others. It's Ephesians 4, 11-16, right?

We, right, He gave some of His pastors and teachers, apostles, evangelists, to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry until they all grow up into the fullness of Christ. And then in the last part of that passage, He says, here's how you know when people are mature. They speak the truth in love.

They fit into the body. Their character changes, and they are outwardly focused, making a difference. It makes different moms and dads and employers and people. They live the kind of life, not perfect, but they live the kind of life where people wonder, what do you have? How do you forgive that way?

How do you have that kind of a marriage? How do you raise children in that way? So number one, a high-impact church has people coming to Christ regularly. Second, those who are in Christ are actually maturing and ministering. And the third characteristic is a high-impact church is meeting some of the deepest needs in your community.

In other words, it's outwardly focused. Where I've pastored, at times it was to the poor. For other times, it was runaway teens. In one ministry I had, it was, we had lots of wealthy business people whose marriages and issues were of huge problems. It was a ministry to them.

In other places, it was schools that were closed, and we cleaned up the schools and we helped the students. In other words, what are the needs in your community where when you as believers of Jesus begin to meet those needs, those that don't know Christ, the people that run your communities, your cities and your villages, they scratch their head and they say, these Christians, why do they care so much about others? Because that's what the early church did, and that's what Jesus commanded. We're to let our light so shine before men that they would see our Father in heaven. In Matthew 25, he said that when we minister to the least of these, to the marginalized, to those in prison, to those in poverty, to those that no one cares about, he says, you've done it unto me.

So here's what I want you to know. You can build a high impact church. There is a Jesus way.

We're going to learn that after being rejected by his family, after being rejected by the religious leaders, that he pulled his disciples together and he said, this is how the kingdom works. This is what you need to do. This is where I will be with you. Here's the next steps that you take. And here's how I will use you to turn the world upside down. And that's what we're going to learn together step by step by step.

Ready? Let's roll. Before we go any further today, I want you to think about what your pastor might be feeling right now. Many of us as pastors grew up in a world where success or what really mattered or what made the church effective was how many people were showing up on Sunday morning. And that's a very important part because we believe in the preaching of God's Word. But over time, I think, myself included, we begin to think that the weekend service was the most important thing instead of one of the most important things. And when we couldn't do the weekend service anymore, or we had to do it online or by Facebook Live or some other means, what began to happen was we saw throughout America and honestly throughout the world that we don't have strong, mature Christians. We really haven't seen Christians for the most part be mature and strong and loving and kind and godly. We've heard a lot of bickering, a lot of anger. The church has been revealed as shallow and often very immature. And what I can tell you is it breaks my heart. But it also tells me that there's pastors all across America and others that I've talked to all around the world who are saying, what do we do now?

If that's not the measurement of success, what is? And over the years, it's been my journey to kind of study what God says about the church. And what I can tell you is from the Lord's perspective, a high impact church is one where people are regularly coming to Christ.

Remember Acts 2? The Lord added to his church daily. And not only that, but people that are found, people that come to know Jesus, their lives are really changing. They're in God's Word. They pray together.

They're generous with their time, their money, their energy. And finally, the early church in great seasons of God's blessing that meets the deepest need in the community. And we're in a time in human history where the Lord Jesus longs to show his light and show his love, but we're his hands and we're his feet. And so what I'd like you to do today is join me and pray for your pastor. Support your pastor and be a part of what God is doing in your local church. And so Holy Father, right now, you see every single pastor all across America. You see every pastor all across the world. You know their struggles, their loneliness, in some places deep persecution.

You know their financial needs, their emotional needs, the cracks in their marriages, the struggles with their children. Lord, how discouraged, depressed so many of them are. We ask you in Jesus' name, would you encourage your shepherds today? And Lord, I pray that today you would move every single person listening to my voice to pray for, to text, to call, to do something to encourage their pastor. In Jesus' name, amen.

Thanks, Chip. Well, you've been listening to a message from our new series, The High Impact Pastor, Building God's Church Jesus Way. And Chip, thanks to that challenge you just shared, I honestly never thought about taking time to pray for my pastor before, but I'm definitely going to be more intentional about it now. You know, it's really obvious after listening today that you have a genuine passion for pastors. Why not share with us where that came from and how Living on the Edge has been ministering to church leaders lately? Well, Dave, I think for many years I've had a heart for pastors, but it was during the pandemic, I found myself actually very discouraged.

And I reached out to the man who's in charge of all the churches in Egypt and he was deeply discouraged and the markets were closed and things were falling apart. And so I did a little series called The Art of Survival and we ended up doing a webinar for all the pastors in Egypt. And within, you know, a month we had 300 cities in India and we were ministering to pastors throughout India and pretty soon we had like 60 countries and 10,000 pastors.

And as I listened to the pain and the persecution in some places, it was just so heartbreaking and heart rendering. So we stepped out and began to help administer to pastors well beyond anything we've ever done, beyond China and the Middle East. And as a result of that, they then begin to ask us, will you come and help us? And the series that I'm teaching right now is a one and a half day seminar that we're taking all around the world. We'll in time, we've already trained 4,000 pastors in Kenya, then Malawi, Uganda asked for help. In fact, this month we're training pastors in three key cities throughout Mexico. And all around the world what we're seeing is pastors saying, I have to rethink the ministry. What we did was helpful, but I've realized there's a new opportunity and we at Living on the Edge are investing especially in under-resourced pastors across the world. And I want to tell you, I need to teach this day so that people in America would sort of click in and understand what's happening in the life of their pastor. What is Jesus' goal for the church and how can they be a part of making their church the light of the world? Great reminder, Chip.

Thanks. Well, if you'd like to learn more about the work Living on the Edge is doing with and for pastors all across the globe, read through our ministry report at livingontheedge.org. It highlights the specific ways we've been encouraging church leaders this past year. So go now to livingontheedge.org and read our latest ministry report.

Well, Chip, before we wrap up this program, I can see you're wanting to jump back in here one last time and talk about something that's close to your heart. You know, back in 2020, we developed a really practical tool called Daily Discipleship with Chip that helps people study the Bible for themselves. Take a minute, if you would, and reflect at how God has used this resource to impact people's lives.

I'd be glad to, Dave. Boy, what a privilege it was to literally walk through whole chapters of the Bible and do it virtually and do it personally. Now, as I consider the impact of those two years, I'm grateful for Living on the Edge team and the supporting technology that allowed the Daily Discipleship to become possible and successful.

We had over 150,000 people participate so far. Second, I'm humbled by the testimonies of people experiencing spiritual renewal, of addressing issues in their lives, rebuilding marriages. I got to hear stories of people gathering their kids around or streaming with other people from other cities as I got a chance to mentor them in God's Word. And third, I'm invigorated by the magnitude of God's grace and power as He birthed this tool at a time of great necessity. When people's lives were shut down, when they didn't know what to do, it just blew my mind to meet with them personally and hear that instead of just podcast or teaching or thanks for the information, they were getting into God's Word for themselves. And they began to write me and share with me how they're hearing God's voice. They're walking with God.

They're making decisions. But for us to continue with this level of technology and investment, it's extraordinarily expensive. And here's my request. If you did any of the Daily Discipleships or if you've met someone that's made a difference in their life, would you just pray about giving a gift today so we can keep doing what we've been doing to mentor people one on one? And right now, there couldn't be a better time because every gift that you give from now to July 7th will be double dollar for dollar. I can't wait to make the next Daily Discipleship, and I sure need your help.

Thanks so much. Thanks Chip. In the difficult times we're living in, we're grateful for the opportunities to minister to people all around the world. And listeners like you who partner with us financially make that possible.

And right now, thanks to a handful of very generous friends of the ministry. Every gift we receive up until July 7th will be doubled dollar for dollar. To make a donation, go to livingontheedge.org, tap donate on the app, or give us a call at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. Well that does it for this program. For Chip and the entire team here, this is Dave Druey saying thanks for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-05 12:21:56 / 2023-04-05 12:31:30 / 10

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