Chitwood, Sholar answer the question ‘What will it cost for your church to change?’ at KBC’s RISK conference
“What will it cost your church to change?” And, “What will it cost your church to reach the community?”
Paul Chitwood’s and Victor Sholar’s answer is the same: the courage to risk.
“Change in the church requires the courage to be changed ourselves,” Chitwood observed, advising church leaders to begin with introspection.
During the final session of the Risk Conference in Louisville, the KBC’s executive director suggested reflecting on seven questions:
– From what sin in my life is the Spirit of God calling me to repentance?
– What gifts am I stewarding poorly by not developing?
– Am I leaving out humility and brokenness, rather than pride and pretense?
– Am I doing the work of an evangelist?
– Am I confronting the brutal facts regarding the effectiveness of our ministry model?
– Am I willing to do the hard, but necessary, work of pruning?
– How can I better work with people?
Chitwood exhorted pastors to love the church. “If you love her, you’ll risk for her,” Chitwood said. “If you love her, you will work for her. If you love her, you’ll sacrifice for her.”
Loving the church requires strong leadership to make necessary changes and willingness to work and love without reward, he noted.
“All over our state, there are churches that are broken,” Chitwood said. “And they are hurting; and they are in conflict; and they are dying. And God is looking for men of courage who will come alongside them and say, ’I will walk with you. I will hurt with you. I will weep with you. And I’ll laugh with you. I’ll love you for the sake of Christ.’”
Sholar, pastor of Main Street Church, agreed, “When all is said and done, at the end of the day we need courage to reach our community.”
Pointing to 2 Timothy, Sholar urged pastors to “preach the Word, that’s where courage begins.”
Courage is based on the reality that one day each of us will have to stand before Christ and give an account, he noted.
“The confidence to stand courageously comes from an understanding that God has equipped me with everything I need to fulfill my calling,” he said.
Courage is not based on gimmicks, charisma, ministry programs, nor on being an expert on culture, he emphasized. “If that were required, Jesus would not have called fishermen and tax collectors to preach the gospel,” he quipped.
“Fear in ministry is a mind overwhelmed by the risk of failure, because we are all painfully aware of own inadequacies and insecurities,” Sholar concluded.
“Courage,” however, “is submitting in confidence that King Jesus reigns over His church, and all I want to do is God’s will and leave the results up to Him.” (WR)