THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Senior Pastor of Shofar Christian Church
At the recent Pastors Summit, we spoke about church growth with the assurance that God is always into growth. He loves growth, it’s a natural outflow of life. Wherever there is life, there is growth.
Church doesn’t only happen on a Sunday, but Sundays are important, because that is when a whole group of people come together with an expectation to meet with God.
Each year between 6 000 and 7 000 people visit our Shofar congregations on a Sunday. Why don’t they stay? How can we reap the harvest that’s already coming to us? Our unity and our love for one another will draw the world to us.
But we can’t just wait for people to come to us. How can we also go to the harvest that is not coming to us?
By aligning our hearts with God’s heart. Our passion for Christ will propel us to others.
Prepare your hearts for Convergence, to receive a passion for the lost like never before. Because unless our hearts are aligned with what God is saying to us, with the direction He is leading us, all church growth strategies will ultimately only lead to a lot of hard work.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life” (ESV). The most important resource that really changes everything around us, is our heart.
It’s not our ministries that will determine the true growth of our churches, but our hearts. It is possible to have a lot of amazing church activity, and yet have our hearts far from God.
We desire those springs of life, because we cannot minister without the springs of life flowing through us.
God wants us to relate to Him heart-to-heart, and relate to one another heart-to-heart. The state of our hearts can either bring unity or separation in the Spirit. We can do things in a radically different way, but have unity in the Spirit. And we can do everything by the book, but our hearts are far from one another.
To guard your heart doesn’t mean putting up defenses after getting hurt. The way we truly guard or keep our hearts is by committing our hearts into the Lord’s hands, saying, “Jesus, I trust You with my heart.”
We must remain vigilant around what’s going on in our hearts. What have you allowed into your heart? What doors are open that should be closed, and closed that should be open? Only you and God will know those doors. It’s easy to do the church-thing and leave certain issues unaddressed. But that only works up to a point, and then the cracks begin to widen.
I believe with all my heart that we are in the dispensation of the restoration of the tabernacle of David. David lived from the inside out, while Saul allowed everything that happened on the outside to influence him on the inside. The fruits were jealousy, insecurity, competition, and blame-shifting.
Both had sinful tendencies. Yet David knew that God didn’t delight in burnt offerings, but the sacrifice of a broken spirit, while Saul tried to sacrifice his way into God’s favour.
God is committed to heart-growth. Living from the heart means you have to know in your heart why you are doing what you’re doing. Why are you part of this church family?
We share a bond of the Spirit that is rooted in the cause of Christ to see the lost saved and discipled. That’s why we’re together.
We trust that this time next year, our churches will look different. And we thank God for the growth – external and internal – that has taken place in the last year.
Watch the full sermon here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ot9Tsague8M&feature=youtu.be
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