One of the realities of “Riding a Wave” in ministry is you are likely to find critics. Some will say you are following “man’s ideas,” or you are just doing this because you want to be contemporary. A lesson I have learned after decades of ministry is, if you do something new or different you will find the critics.
In our last Equipper Blog I talked about riding the wave of the multi-site church movement. One of the advantages of multi-site churches is the offer of hope for churches in the stagnation or dying stage of a church life cycle.
Over 4,000 churches are closing each year in America. Two of the main causes are lack of finances and a lack of effective visionary leadership. The multi-site church can be a major help in both of these areas. First, financially a multi-site church can operate on a much lower budget than a traditional model. Secondly, a church with a proven strategic vision is uniquely positioned to use their model to revitalize a struggling church.
I am an old-school pastor who has tried to be open to see what God is using. Rick Warren's illustration of “riding the wave” is a lesson God has been using in my consulting and coaching ministry for many years. The illustration is simple: God creates the wave, we do not, but we can learn to ride the wave.
This year the Lord has led me to preach a series of messages from Isaiah 7-9, reviewing the names given to Jesus in remembrance of that Christmas morning long ago. Each name has a unique meaning and helps us to identify how special this child is. Immanuel declares “God is with us” referring to Jesus’ birth and life. Wonderful Counselor helps us to realize we need to come to Him for wisdom beyond human understanding. Mighty God speaks of His almighty power to meet our needs. Everlasting Father reveals Jesus as the head of the family of God and the Messiah. Prince of Peace reminds us that true peace only comes from a relationship with Jesus Christ as the Savior and Lord. It also teaches us that peace in our relationships with others is best realized through mutual relationship to Christ.