by Pastor Alan Darby
Recently I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a Pastor’s conference at Harvey Cedars Bible Conference. It was a wonderfully inspirational and refreshing for me after the great but consuming Lenten/Easter season. Our speaker was Harry Reeder, author of a book called From Embers to a Flame: How God can Revitalize Your Church. Generally, it focuses on how a church can recapture its former “vitality”, or life in Christ, by rekindling the passion for being all God designs us to be.
Basically, the message of the week was that all too often, well-meaning disciples and followers of Jesus Christ get so wrapped up in the business of “church” that we forget our essential calling. We tend to get so focused on numbers of attendance and church economics that we lose sight of who and what Christ wants us to be. In Matthew 28 Jesus gave us His Great Commission: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In other words, a Biblical way to get the church back on track to revitalization is through “exaltation, evangelism, enfolding and equipping.” Using this Great Commission Plan, we are called to “make disciples” by going – evangelism; by baptizing – enfolding; and by teaching – equipping; as disciples engaged in worship – exaltation.
This four-fold mission of the Church of Jesus Christ has been described by Greg Laurie using the acronym “W.E.L.L.” in his book The Upside Down Church. As such, the Biblical plan for church revitalization is a “fitness plan” designed to produce a healthy church. Church Health promotes natural church development and growth.
W.E.L.L. – ness means:
- Worship – Upreach – Our ministry to God
- Evangelism – Outreach – Our ministry to the world
- Loving – Inreach – Our ministry to one another
- Learning – Downreach – Our ministry to ourselves
W.E.L.L. churches produce W.E.L.L. Christians who are led by W.E.L.L. leaders. This vision is exciting and challenging to me and I hope to all of you as well. It is actually, exactly in line with St. Paul’s mission statement! I look forward to planning and visioning about what this means for us at St. Paul’s as we go forward. May the Holy Spirit empower us to be ever faithful.
In His Regard, Pastor Al