“We won’t succeed.” “We are too new.” “We don’t have the reach.”
Having talked with different ministries and small churches, there is a common theme of obstacles to growth. There are many examples of thriving, large organizations that should inspire but often wind up being more of a discouragement of what we feel we will not ever achieve.
So where does transformation begin? How can you bring success to a small organization?
1. Stop the comparison
The Moody Center itself is a start-up, and in our launch, we had to research many different models to figure out how we would operate. There were moments of discouragement as it seemed daunting about how we would ever reach not just an operational but a thriving point. There are many other groups out there offering fantastic services.
We had to make a choice to stop comparing and seeing how we measured up. By looking at things through the lens of our unique purpose, we were able to gather insights, test, and adapt them. It was much more freeing than attempting to replicate others’ successes. We were driven by our mission of carrying on D.L. Moody’s legacy. Bob Goff, author of Love Does, says, “We won’t be distracted by comparison if we are captivated by purpose.”
2. Pray. And pray some more.
Ed Stezter recently published an article about how small churches can thrive. In studying 300 churches who turned around their operations, he found that the leaders highlighted the need for prayer more than larger churches. His articles states, “When asked, “To what degree did the following [areas] change during your church’s comeback?” leaders of the churches […] rated prayer as the area most changed.”
God wants our hearts to be still before Him. He can transform our attitudes and beliefs. It is not our own power. In the busy day to day life, it can feel like we are the ones shouldering all the burdens, but what would happen if we began by releasing them to God?
3. Be fully surrendered.
You may have heard the amazing stories of D.L. Moody’s outreach- an estimated 100 million souls reached through his work! But what drove his work was his complete submission to the Lord’s way. When we surrender, suddenly our own agendas step aside and God can bring in His own beautiful masterpiece.
R.A. Torrey, in his memoirs of Moody, writes “If you and I are to be used in our sphere as D. L. Moody was used in his, we must put all that we have and all that we are in the hands of God, for Him to use as He will, to send us where He will, for God to do with us what He will, and we, on our part, to do everything God bids us do.
There are thousands and tens of thousands of men and women in Christian work, brilliant men and women, rarely gifted men and women, men and women who are making great sacrifices, men and women who have put all conscious sin out of their lives, yet who, nevertheless, have stopped short of absolute surrender to God, and therefore have stopped short of fullness of power. But Mr. Moody did not stop short of absolute surrender to God; he was a wholly surrendered man, and if you and I are to be used, you and I must be wholly surrendered men and women.”
These 3 pieces may seem like basic truths, but they are the cornerstones of transformation. We need the reminders to go back to the simple truths of Christ. There is a difference between simple and simplistic. May our hearts be reignited and let Christ refresh our weary perspectives!