Proverbs 15:3
Land of the Living

New Book Excerpt Part 3

I have posted two of f four excepts from my upcoming book release, Changing the Way We Do Church: Seven Steps to Purposeful Reformation. Here are the first two parts if you missed them.  I will include the last paragraph from the second excerpt and then pick it up from there in this third part.

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THE DYNAMICS OF CHANGE IN THE NEW TESTAMENT
Dr. John Stanko
An excerpt from John’s new book,
Changing the Way We Do Church: Seven Steps to Purposeful Reformation

    There is much more I could say about this passage (Acts 6:1-7), which has become the cornerstone for each purpose message I deliver publicly. The one additional point I would like to emphasize is found in verse seven.  The word of God continued to spread and the church grew because these men know how to stay focused and flow with the unexpected that tends to arise in the life of every church.

    The early church leaders did not have a vision for what kind of church they wanted to have. Instead they flowed with the vision that Jesus had for the church. That meant that they had to be flexible with what took place, but rigid where doctrine was concerned.  Today we sometimes take the opposite approach: rigid with our vision and flexible with our doctrine!

    This is important because rigidity where vision is concerned will cause leaders to dismiss those in their midst who cannot contribute toward the accomplishment of that vision.  When someone comes with an idea or with a desire to help the church, leaders very often try to fit them into some predetermined jobs.  I have often said that you can do anything you want in the church, as long as it is ushering, choir or nursery.  If you can’t help there, then many churches don’t know what to do with you (unless perhaps you are a missionary).

    This story epitomizes what I refer to as Holy Spirit chaos, for the ministry idea bubbled up from the bottom, or from among the membership. It did not come from the top.  When you make room for the Holy Spirit working in the people, the Spirit does not have to follow any predetermined rules, strategic plan or vision.  Leaders who want to control the process can do that easily, but they are then restricted to what they alone can see instead of accessing all that could be.

    Feel free to write your comments to this entry on the site where it is posted.

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Changing the Way We Do Church: Seven Steps to Reformation is due to be released July, 2009 by Evergreen Press. To order your copy, please send an email to johnstanko@gmail.com.

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