CCCNZMark GraceAmbassador's BlogChildren and Family MinistriesJesusPrayerChurchCOVID-19GodLeadershipCCCNZ YouthYouth leadershipYouth ministryYouthWhat Comes Next?BibleChristmasFaithAucklandCoachingMurray BrownChildrenChildren's MinistryChristianCommunityJackie MillarJulie McKinnonLeadersMissionMulticultural ministryCampingCOVID-19 Protection FrameworkDiscipleshipFamilyRongopai2 Timothy 2ChristChristian CampingCommunity MinistryConnectionEaster CampEldersFIRST TrainingLui PonifasioMinistryNZOnslow Community ChurchRallyStudent ministrySupportWorshipWorship leadingYoung peopleAdministrationAdventAne PonifasioAustralian BushfiresBible in a yearBible readingBirkenhead Community ChurchCamp ministryCCCNZ AucklandCCCNZ PastorLinkChapel Hill Community ChurchChristchurch Mosque AttacksChurch PlantingChurchesCity Bible ChurchClark Road ChapelDanielle DiproseEldershipGC3GospelHukanui Bible ChurchIntergenerational ministryJeremy SuistedJesus ChristKerry RickardLifeChurch ManurewaLoveManawaru Bible ChapelMassey Community ChurchMāoriNZ RallyOrewa Community ChurchOutreachPacific CommunityPastorLinkPastorsPathways School of Worship LeadingRefugee MinistryRestRetreatRichard DavisRichard FountainRosedale Bible ChapelScriptureStudentsTasman ChurchTāmaki Community ChurchTeapot Valley Christian CampTheologyTogether Works BetterTrainingTSCFVolunteerWord of LifeYouth Reachout RoadtripYouth Summit1 Corinthians 15:141 Corinthians 15:3-51 Corinthians 15:3-81 Corinthians 15:8-111 Corinthians 1:18-311 Peter 11 Timothy 6:11-211-2-1 Bible Reading2 Corinthians 1:8-92 Peter 12 Timothy 2:1-132 Timothy 2:2201924-7 YouthWork60 years75 JubileeAbortion Legislation BillActs 27:23–26Acts 8Amatakiloa Bible ChurchAmos 5:8Annual Report 2020-21Aotearoa, NZAPAAppealAuckland Bible ChurchAuthenticityBad GuysBaptismBitternessBoardBoysBushfiresCalledCambell ForlongCampusCanterburyCareCarolsCCCAustCCCNZ Children and Family MinistriesCCCNZ PrayerCCNZChrist-centredChristchurchChristian Camping NZChristian CoachingChristian radioChristianityChristmas CarolChristmas messageChurch LeadersChurch on VogelChurch response to coronavirusChurch response to COVID-19Church Street ChapelCitizens Advice BureauColombiaComfort ZoneCommitmentCommunity CentreCompassionConflictConnectionsCoronavirusCreativityCross-culturalCrossroads ChurchCultural diversityDargaville Gospel ChurchDarrell BockDevotionsDr Merv CoatesEasterEducationEmily TylerEncouragementEngagingEphesians 1Ephesians 2EvangelismEventsExtraordinary GodEzra 3Ezra-NehemiahFaithfulFaithfulnessFinanceFireFreshFriendshipGalatians 2:10Gap YearGeoff StarkGiftsGirlsGlobalisationGlow in the ParkGod StoriesGod's faithfulnessGraceGrowthHadfieldHaggaiHarvestHeadspaceHealingHealthy youth ministryHeavy ladenHillcrest ChapelHoliday CampHope Community ChurchHorizon of HopeHospitalityIan ElliottIdeasImmigrationInconvenienceIndianInternationalInternational StudentsInternshipsIsolationJames 1:2-4James 1:26-27Jeewan DhaaraJosephKaipara Bible ChapelKiwiLakeland Park Christian CampLamentationsLast SupperLaunchpadLawson ScottLeanne BrownLearningLeaving HomeLeslie ScottLifewalkLightsLiving GodLyricsMark 10:45Marsden Bay Christian CampMaryMatarikiMaungarei Christian Community TrustMillenialsMt Wellington Community ChurchMusicNancy Jean Forbes Training CentreNational CCCNZ Youth TeamNelsonNew Year's HonoursNorthcross ChurchO Holy NightO Holy Night LyricsO WeekOrdinary ChristianOrosiusPaengaroa Bible ChapelPalmerston NorthPandemicParentsPartnershipPasifikaPathwaysPaulPākehāPeacePhilippiansPlanningPrayer GatheringPrayingPreach the WordPreparationPsalm 146Psalm 23Psalm 24:1-2Psalm 31PsalmsQSMQueen Elizabeth IIQueen's Service MedalRebekah ReeveRegionalRegional ConnectionsRegional EnablersRespiteResponseResurrectionRevelation 2-4Riccarton Community ChurchRiverbend Bible ChurchRob MortonRobert MitchellRutland Street ChurchSaviourSchoolSecond windSophia McCrindleSouthlandSOWLSpiritSpiritual formationStudent LifeStudent ministry at OtagoSuccessionSummer SchoolSummitSupport MinistriesSwedish MethodTauwhare Gospel ChapelTe Ao NgākauTeenagersTeensThe cross-shaped lifeThe gospelThe Greatest SaviourThe House Next DoorThe Mark DramaThe Orchard Church Te PukeThe Riverside ClubThessaloniansTimaruTitus 3:1-2Tongan TsunamiTop of the SouthTraumaTreatyTreaty of WaitangiUkraineUnityUniversity of OtagoWaikatoWaitangi Day 2019Waitangi Day 2022WearyWellingtonWestChurchWhat's Next?Whitiora Bible ChurchWoodend Christian CampWorking TogetherWorship EnablerWoven TogetherYoung AdultsYoung leadersYvonne Heng
TAGS

Leading people during an incredibly challenging season.

By CCCNZ Ambassador Mark Grace


We are entering a profoundly challenging ministry season.

The last 18 months have been challenging, the next 8+ months will be significantly more so.

It’s my sense that local church ministry in Level 2 is more complex than Level 3. 

Church leaders in different parts of the world have noticed a common trend affecting churches in this phase of the pandemic. Matt Chandler sums this up with a picture of thirds: a third of the congregation growing in their engagement, a third of the church becoming dis-engaged, and a third have just disappeared.

A third of the church have increased their engagement

This third are those who have leaned into community; leaned into hospitality. This third are leaning into sacrificial service. They are stepping up and stepping out in faith. 

This third are growing in unity, with a sense of what it means to belong to Christ, and to belong to each other as one body. They see this as a season for the Bride of Christ to shine in sacrificial service. 

A third of the church have dis-engaged

Why? It’s complicated.

For some, managing family logistics has become a hurdle. For others, the health risks are too high.

For a number, the process of dis-engaging begins in the heart. People are increasingly shaped by algorithms; the pre-determined instructions our phones, computers, and social media use to show us information.

Algorithms are designed to connect with our hearts. They're designed to show us stories that will touch a nerve, serving up content that reinforces our heart's disposition. 

The result is a hardening of heart in our own thinking, and a hardening of heart towards those who don’t share our views.

Our hearts are being influenced by ideologies and philosophies fed by algorithms as much as they are being influenced by Scripture fed by fellowship. It’s a potent, combustible mix.

The overall result is people forsaking gospel unity and dis-engaging from church over smaller, ideological differences.  
 
A third of the church disappears

This third aren’t online and they aren’t in person.

The reasons are multifaceted, but the consequence is the same. They aren’t here and they haven’t been back.

As we head into this challenging season, with people in our churches engaging, dis-engaging, and disappearing, how are we to respond? 

The Corinthians are a divided church, with divided leadership, and disputes across the church. The influence of external philosophies and ideologies is dismantling the community. They are in crisis.

In the midst of this crisis, Paul points them to the cross of Christ. 

In chapter 1 he sees himself in light of the cross (1 Cor. 1:1). He sees the Corinthians in light of the cross (1:11-9). He sees their leadership divisions as an inability to see the centrality and significance of the cross (1:10-17). He recognises that it is the wisdom and power of the cross their hearts need, but it is the wisdom and power of the world they want (1:17-31).

Mixing human philosophy and ideology with theology won’t settle their hearts. On God's wisdom the weakness of the cross truly settles and satisfies the human heart.

He wants us to be very clear, Christ crucified is enough. Christ is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. 

Christ is enough

Christ crucified is a comfort to the engaged as they live lives of sacrifice and service in the local church and in the community.

Christ crucified is a loving challenge to disentangle our hearts from ideology and philosophy, and focuses the dis-engaged on the reality of the crucified King and his community.

Christ crucified is a call to the disappearing to return. 

Christ crucified encourages us to comfort the engaged, to care for the dis-engaging, and to be kind to the disappearing. 



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT