I would ask pastors and church leaders these questions:

·      Do you love your church?
·      Do you love your city?

For God so loved your city that He gave his only son to save it. I don’t think you can really belong to a church if you don’t learn to love it. I don’t think you can be effective in a city that you don’t like. Well… maybe Jonah was successful in a place he despised, but he was a sourpuss and never made peace with the plans of God.

What are God’s plans for the Shalom of your church and your city?

One pastor was asked how things were going in the church he had been at for the past year. “Wonderful, this church is dying much slower than the last one I was in.”

Another pastor made it to big time. She had a multi-million dollar budget and a brand new building. As she showed her friend the building, she opened the door and said, “It’s a beautiful sanctuary that sleeps 1200.”
I hope that none of you get caught in the web of trying to be a successful pastor or to have a successful church. When you think you have reached the big time, something unexpected will always challenge your security. Maybe God has a different understanding of what success is.

James 1: (MSG)
2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way.

According to James, we need pressure to force our faith out into the open. There’s no short cut to what God wants to do in your life and in the life of your church. Some of our best strategies are temporary fixes but do not lead to maturity and healthy growth.

Would you take a moment and say, “Thank you God for the pressures I am facing. You must be up to something good.”