STORMING HELL'S GATES
"THE PEOPLE FACTOR"
INTRODUCTION: If you are going to meet needs the way God
desires, you must be willing to change your ways.
nfl,~Ste-phenl,CoVy,bo,ok, i The Vl,sHnbtt:sof i4y Effect-
1-e Pet~,oplet, he'iord paradjgms as a model, a
tbeo,- a pert--'ept on, 'an assumption or a frame of'reference.
Simply said, a paradigm is a map. For example, a map of
Arkansas is not Arkansas, but it does explain the aspects
of the territory.
So what does this have to do with church growth? Well, many
churches today are ignoring the map for success in church
growth. The paradigm for growth as we head into the 21st
century involves more than facilities and locations.
While the paradigm of doing church has changed, God nor His
Word has not changed. Successfully meeting the challenges
of emerging paradigms, changing trends, and shifting demo-
graphics requires that you:
*Meet real needs, not symptoms.
*Make the gospel live.
Many churches have not kept pace and have continued to do
church like it was done in the fifties and sixties.
Doing church YOUR WAY turns off the power of God. Remain-
ing open to the God Factor makes you open to change. We all
know that change is the only constant in church growth.
While paradigms change and are necessary do not forget that
God and His Word never change. He has a unique plan for your
LET ME ADD A WORD OF CAUTION: As you visit other churches
and explore how they go about obtaining real growth, your
temptation will be to duplicate what you see. You can no
more successfully use someone else's church growth plan than
you can wear someone else's clothes. Oh you might be
covered, but you will not have a good fit. Seek God and
watch His plan unfold from His Word.
LET ME CHALLENGE YOU: Address the real needs of people, not
just the symptoms. People can mislead you by describing what
they feel they need in ministry versus what they really need.
If my child wants a snack j ...
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