What you hold in your hands is likely the only thing that purports to tell you what the Lord is up to in the U.S.A. as we enter the 21st century. We all face a growing number of distractions and it's easy to get lost in the forest looking at one tree.
As you look at the landscape and read the media, it's easy to get some wrong impressions.
For instance, it's easy to conclude that America is a spiritual disaster zone on the order of Sodom and Gomorrah. Or that 90% of all Christian activity is in the pro-life movement. Or that everyone is doing his own thing, and that there's no pattern or coherence to Kingdom activity.
True, things do look a bit disjointed at first glance. Surprisingly, though, when you focus on the major moves of God today, you discover some clear patterns-and some stage direction from Heaven about our future actions.
Every day, there are 110,000 new Bible-believing Christians in the world. That' s a net figure, births and conversions minus deaths. Very encouraging, isn't it?
Where are all these new brothers and sisters coming from? About 35,000 from China, another 35,000 from Africa, almost that many from Latin America, plus more from elsewhere. Around the globe, it's party time in the Kingdom. The harvest is upon us.
Not here, though. Here we're breaking even, not much more.
But before you yield to dismay, take a look at what is happening. The Big Picture is a quick survey of 30 major movements of God today. What they add up to is far more than the sum of the 30.
You'll enjoy reading about them or just skimming the fist if you're already familiar with most of them. You'll be struck by three impressions:
A.These are not mere programs sustained by money and personnel, but ongoing movements born of the Holy Spirit.
We could add a fourth, rather startling impression: If you consider the commonalities of the 30, it becomes strikingly clear that God is yelling at us to start making some heavy changes in our attitudes and practices right now-presumably in preparation for surprises he will bring upon us in soon.
B. Taken as a whole, their scope is unprecedented, almost breathtaking.
C. Only a few of them comprise classical, repentance-conversion revival. Most are groundwork-laying movements that are preparing the church to launch, sustain, and be able to handle a future revival-on a far larger scale than we have ever seen before. Perhaps -laps even a whole new Reformation.
One humble suggestion: Whether or not you participate in these movements-or even approve of all of them-it's crucial that you realize they are part of what God is doing today, a result of His hand shaping us all for a demanding future. If you feel annoyance or even a coolness in your heart as you see a certain movement listed here, you may have "good reason." But it might be spiritually wise for you to stop, repent, and say a short prayer for those laboring in that work. We must start functioning as a body now, not just a cacophony of competing groups.
Finally, we apologize sincerely if we've left out your favorite movement. After all, overviews are subjective. Enjoy the panorama-it's the Lord's work.
Spiritual and Prayer
1. Spiritual Warfare
A laity-driven attack on spiritual strongholds has been moving through the American church for over 20 years now. Spiritual/prayer warfare is sustained, offensive prayer aimed at repentance, restoration and reformation. The movement has recently matured and become better grounded. Key Leaders: Dr. C. Peter Wagner, Global Harvest Ministries; John Dawson, YWAM; Cindy Jacobs, Generals of Intercession; Francis Frangipane, River of Life.
Beginning in England in 1988, the March For Jesus has spread quickly throughout the world. The goal is mobilizing layman to walk and pray through their local neighborhood for each home and family. Phase two involves door-to-door introduction, soliciting prayer requests, and open homes for the prayer-needs of neighbors. Key Leaders: Steve Hawthorne & Roger Forester, Graham Kendricks, Gerald Coats, March For Jesus; Ed Silvoso, Harvest Evangelism; Kenny Foreman, Cathedral of Faith; Rich Gazowsky, Voice of Pentecost.
3. Citywide Prayer
These inter-church prayer celebrations involve structured, leadership-directed, corporate repentance and intercession. Often these gatherings involve spontaneous, interactive participation by the whole assembly. Corporate identification and repentance is moving the hand of God to bring healing to our land and healing to the relationships between congregations. Key Leaders: Dr. Jack Hayford, Pray LA, David Bryant, Concerts of Prayer, Rick Joyner, MorningStar.
4. Toronto Revival
A fresh expression of "the joy of the Lord" began impacting the U.S. in the spring of 1994. Starting in South Africa with evangelist Rodney Howard-Brown, this new movement seems to combine all the elements of revivals of the past century-and them some. In Lakeland, Florida, at Carpenter's Home Church, 1500 were baptized in one day! Outbreaks of laughter and other spiritual phenomenon at Airport Vineyard Fellowship of Toronto, Canada, have now quickly spread throughout the U.S. Key Leaders.- Rodney Howard-Browne, RHBEA Min.; Peter Rahme, Peter Rahme Min.; Dr. Karl Strader, Carpenter's Home Church.
5. Spiritual Mapping
Spiritual Mapping is the intelligence wing of the spiritual warfare movement. It is helping leaders to identify the historic spiritual strongholds region by region-or even house by house! The goal is to focus our efforts on big, pinpoint targets, thus avoiding years of fruitless evangelism. There are now 300-400 projects worldwide. Results have been extraordinary, with entire towns and neighborhoods transformed. Key Leaders: George Otis, Sentinal Communications; Luis Bush, A-D. 2000 Movement; Gary Bergal, Intercessors for America.
6. Pastoral Renewal
A fresh commitment to weekly prayer, city-wide spiritual unity, and locally-based prayer retreats for pastors and church leaders that moves beyond denominational barriers (post-denominationalism). The result: Establishment of a relational bond between the spiritual leaders that will help break down the walls between churches and provide authentic ministry to the ministers. Key Leaders: Joe Aldrich, International Renewal Min; Francis Frangipane, River of Life; Hal Sacks, El Shaddai Min.
Personal and Family
7. Restoration of Family
A loosely-affiliated movement advocating the traditional/Biblical nuclear family structure as the foundational solution to the moral, educational, governmental, and economic crises of our day. Key Leaders: Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family; Lou Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition; Don Wildman, American Family Association; Gary Bauer, Family Research Council, Gary Smalley, Today's Family.
8. Home School Movement
A Christian response to the decay of public schools and their shift into Politically-Correct (PC) indoctrination. The goal is to restore the role of parents (or Christian teachers) as the primary educators/mentors for children. Home schoolers have grown to nearly half a million strong during the past 15 years, and SAT scores reflect the superiority of the academic, spiritual, and social maturity of students. Key Leaders: Dr. Paul Lindstrom, liberty Christian Academy; Mary Pride, Practical Home Schooling Magazine; Sue Welch, Teaching Home Magazine; Dr. Bob Simonds, Nat. Assoc. of Christian Educators; Sam Blumenfeld, Paradigm Company; Paul Jehle, Heritage Institute.
9. Men's Movement
'Me restoration of the Biblical role of manhood/fatherhood by affirming that true Christianity alone produces "real men." Meetings range from huge stadium rallies to intimate living room groups and are designed to foster encouragement, accountability, and motivation for Christian men to remain faithful to God, family, and their calling. Key Leaders: Dr. Edwin Cole, Paul Cole, Christian Men's Network; Randy Phillips, Coach Bill McCartney, Promise Keepers.
10. Small Group Movements
11. Open Church
A meta-church is a practical hybrid of the cell church, traditional church and citychurch patterns because it allows a church to maintain intimacy and accountability, yet grow to any size. 'Me popularity of the meta-church model is based on: its flexibility, allowing for gradual transition; its vision for both the small group and synergism of the large corporate, city-wide celebration; and its emphasis on leadership development. Key Leaders: Carl George, church consultant, seminary professor; Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church.
B. Cell Church
This worldwide movement is presently sweeping through the U.S. and is seeking to empower lay leadership and restore the home-based meeting as the primary seedbed for evangelism, discipleship, and accountability in the local church. Celebration services include pulpit preaching and teaching to equip the saints for their primary ministry-outside of church buildings. Key Leaders: Dr. Ralph Neighbour, Dr. Bill Beckham, Touch Outreach; Dr. Yonggi Cho; Mike Bickle, Metro Vineyard Fellowship; Dale Galloway, Church Growth Institute; Pete Scazzero, New Life Fellowship.
A widespread movement with no central coordination. Open churches are full-fledged institutional congregations that allow body life in three ways: 1) open worship, in which laymen are allowed to speak in praise; open sharing, in which laymen are allowed a wide range of interaction, prayer, confession, song, testimony, teaching, etc.; and open ministry, in which gifts are used both inside and outside the church-in accordance with the Spirit's innovation, not just in conformity to existing programs. Strong leadership is developed while clergy are freed from the CEO straitjacket, An open church is the next logical step beyond the cell or meta-church. Key Leaders: Jim Rutz, Open Church Ministries; Johnny and Juanita Berguson, Kingdom Co.; Donald Dunn, Partnership in the Gospel; Rich Gazowsky, Voice of Pentecost.
12. Non-Institutional Churches
A. House Churchs
13. Worship Renewal
A quiet but active movement worldwide that is committed to the original, apostolically patterned, church-in-the-home structure. The total abandonment of church buildings, professional pastors, big budgets, and set rituals has attracted the attention of many born-again, stay-at-home believers as the solution to their frustration with many post-Biblical traditions. Intimacy and accountability are their strength. Key Leaders: Wolfgang Simson, Houses That Change the World, Nate & Joanne Krupp, Preparing the Way Publishing; Hal Miller, Salem Christian Community; Gene Edwards, The SeedSowers; Steve Atkerson, New Testament Restoration NewsL; Robert Banks, Fuller Seminary; Howard Snyder, United Theological Services4 Jon Zens, Searching Together; Warren and Helen Peterson, House-to-House Newsletter.
B. Covenant and Intentional Communities
A Biblical church structure that views the local church as an interactive, participatory family, not just an institution. The goals: a commitment to body ministry, interdependence, accountability, membership by covenant, (a "shared life'), and a willingness to submit to discipline that is in stark contrast to the rugged individualism most Christians drag into their local church life. Key Leaders: Barry and Anne Byrd, Marble Christian Community; Chnstian Smith, House Church Discussion List (on the Net); Robert and Julia Banks, Fuller Seminary; Paul Stevens, Regent University.
A "new song" seems to mark revival flashpoints in church history-and today is no different. Today's shift in worship covers an enormous range, all the way from the soaring majesty of classical and liturgical worship to the spontaneous Pentecostal and Charismatic expression. Change is rampant, including the collaboration between prayer and worship leaders. The boundaries seem limitless as God's people are reaching for a more personal expression of praise and worship of the King of Kings. Key Leaders: Dr. Robert Webber, Wheaton College; Steven Fry, Steven Fry Min.; LaMar Boshman, LaMar Boshman Min.; Malcolm duplessis, Maranatha Music; Geoff Shearn, The Worship Service; Ted Sandquist, Psalm of Life.
14. Plurality of Leadership
This church leadership structure views plural eldership and team ministry as the norm, rather than a "one-man-band" approach. This model allows leaders to focus on their primary area of spiritual gifting (apostolic, prophetic, undershepherd, teacher, and evangelistic) and avoid the unhealthy expectation of super-spirituality" from a single individual, thus solving the pastor's number one occupational hazard-burnout. Consensus decision-making offers a worthy and scriptural alternative to the executive or democratic forms of decision-making. Key Leaders: Alexander Strauch, Biblical Eldership; Mark Virkler, Communion With God; Dale Rumble, Fountain of Life; Dudley Hall, Successful Christian Living Min.; Rick Joyner, MorningStar.
15. Church Growth Movement
This transdenominational movement utilizes proven marketing and PR techniques to increase the size and quality of the local church and has offered great hope to American church leaders facing dwindling congregations and budgets over the past ten years. While church growth advocates have experienced measurable success, the most successful leadership model has proven to be a plurality of elders (rather than a CEO) , but it takes time to find and train such leaders. Key Leaden: Dr. C. Peter Wagner, Global Harvest Ministries; Carl George, author, church consultant; Dr. Jack Hayford, Church on the Way; Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Comm.. Church.
Although denominationalism is waning on the U.S. Protestant scene, denominations are still alive and well. Some are even growing nicely. One thinks of the Southern Baptist and Assembly of God denominations, which are still growing at the rate of 1.5% and 4% annually respectively. Smaller denominations such as Christian & Missionary Alliance and Foursquare are averaging 5% and 1 1% annual growth respectively. In contrast, the more liberal mainline denominations are the wave of the dim past. For the most part, momentum for growth now lies with the parachurch organizations. When revival comes, the churches will be the happy recipients of the fruit of that momentum.
17. Servant Evangelism
This fresh approach to personal evangelism is focused on individual deeds of kindness and servanthood in the name of Christ rather than dragging sinners into a church building to hear an elegant professional sermon that will "get them saved." Servant-evangelists do not view the traditional "compel them to come in" as wrong, but they do find that the results are more fruitful when a personal, compassionate approach of "blessing" the unsaved is employed-meeting people right where they are-without preconditions of church attendance. Key Leaders: Steve Sjogren, Vineyard Fellowship; Tommy Barnett, Phoenix First Assembly; Doug Daugherty, Chattanooga Resource Foundation.
18. Relief and Development
The rise of our massive social service operations has marked the end of the conservative reaction against the old liberal "social gospel." Relief and development is not only a basic function for the body of Jesus Christ, it also continues to be a strategic opening into people's hearts-and the hearts of their governments. Key Organizations: World Vision, Food For the Hungry, Mennonite Central Committee, World Relief, World Concern, MAP, Operation Blessing.
19. Restoration of Calling
This movement trumpets secular work as ministry and mission. The main thrust today is encouraging workers to be wiser and stronger witnesses on the job. The primary means are meetings, trade guilds, and empowerment networking associations. In the near future, the churchwide Strategic Careers Coalition will add a second thrust helping Christians get into the key positions that will expand both their personal witness and their impact on the whole culture. Key Leaders: Pete Hammond, InterVarsity Marketplace; Jeff Trautman, InterCristo; Strategic Careers Coalition; Dennis Peacocke, National interns Prog..; Bill Hamon, Prophetic Businessman's Assn., Craig R. Smith, True-Wealth.com.
20. Citywide Evangelism/Urban Ministry
Beginning in the 1950s with Billy Graham, citywide evangelistic crusades have reached millions of unchurched and had a strong unifying force among local churches, especially overseas. In the U.S. the long term impact has been stifled by a lack of unity and interaction among local churches, especially during the critical follow-up discipleship process. Recent efforts by evangelist Luis Palau have been more successful in that respect. Citywide youth crusades provide a much needed vision for teens to reach the unchurched. Key Leaders.- Billy Graham, Billy Graham Evangelistic Assn..; Luis Palau, Luis Palau Evangelistic Assn..; Ron Luce, Teen Mania Min.; Bill Mikler, Mikler Evangelistic Alliance; Scott McKinney.
21. Media Outreach (Print, TV Radio, Internet)
As media moguls scramble to keep Americans entertained, Christian leaders in the mass media are reaching for innovative methods of communicating a Biblical worldview from within the mainstream media, as well as with Christian media. The new era of interactive communications has the potential of providing a renaissance for quality independent radio, TV and film producers without billion dollar budgets. The establishment media remain reluctant to feature Biblically-correct programming. Key Leaders: Dr. Ted Baehr, Christian Film & TV Commission; Cal Thomas, Cal Thomas Show; Pat Robertson, CBN; Greg Anderson, Salem Comm.; Rch Germaine, Media Arts Letter; Bill Bright, Campus Crusade; Dr. James Kennedy, Coral Ridge Min..
22. Cultural/Racial Reconciliation
This movement is committed to breaking down the historic spiritual, cultural, racial, and economic barriers between Christians (and everyone else) by strategic leadership training, inter-church urban problem solving, and public repentance and racial reconciliation. Historic Black/White/Hispanic/ Asiatic church barriers are beginning to give way to the all-encompassing culture (ethnos) of the kingdom of God-unity in diversity under the Lordship of Christ. Key Leaden: Dr. Tony Evans, Urban Alternative; John Perkins, Urban Family; Wellington Boone, New Generation Min.; Cindy Jacobs, Generals of Intercession; Doug Daugherty, Chattanooga Resource Foundation.
23. Intellectual Warfare
We have neglected this critical battleground for so long that a Christian worldview is no longer considered intellectually valid or PC in American culture. But today the intellectual front lines are being manned by a wide spectrum of thinking believers from almost every discipline, like the sciences, psychology, sociology, economics, history, ethics, education, law, medicine, theology, etc. Key Leaders.- Os Guinness, American Forum; George Grant, Legacy; Doug Wilson, Credenda Agenda; Dennis Peacocke, Strategic Christian Services; Jay Grimstead, Coalition on Revival; R.E. McMaster, Jr.,ne Reaper; Gary North, Institute for Christian Economics; Hugh Ross, Reasons to Believe; Tal Brooke, Spiritual Counterfeits Project; John Eidsmoe, JD; Jose Gonzales, Semilla Ministries; Josh McDowell.
24. Spiritual Integration
A renewal movement focused on establishing the Lordship of Christ in both individuals and institutions. Leaders represent a wide spectrum of theological perspectives-ranging from optimistic Premills to triumphant Reconstructionists. The goals: 1) To equip the saints to think through a biblical perspective on all subjects, 2) To reconnect Christians to their history, 3) The systematic maturation of each believer in preparation for deployment into service, and 4) Changing the worldview of the general culture. Key Leaders: Dr. Jay Grimstead, Coalition on Revival; Gary DeMar, American Vision; Dr. David Noebel, Summit Ministries; Doug Wilson, Credenda Agenda; Jim Spillman, Jim Spillman Ministries
25. Legal Warfare
In a post-modern, antinomian American culture, litigation grows expeditiously. Today almost all absolutes are shunned in favor of "positive" (evolving) law. Almost forgotten are the days of Madison and Blackstone, who argued that theology was always the foundation for public policy and law. Nevertheless, the embers of a Biblically-founded legal reformation are being fanned by the internal collapse of relativism and humanism. From university lecture halls and local court rooms, to church-based law classes, the "Natural Law/ Common Law" heritage of our Founding Fathers is increasingly being articulated by Christian legal activists-challenging the evolution-based legal establishment over such issues as: education, free speech, abortion, euthanasia, private property, and jurisdiction. Key Leaders: Herb Titus, The Forecast; Jay Sekulow, CASE; Keith Fournier, ACIJ; Mike Farris, HSLDA, Dan Gibson, School for the Last Days; Franklin Sanders, Moneychanger; Vern Holland, The Freeman; Greg Meadows, The LA Lawman; Peter Kershaw, Heal Our Land; John Whitehead, Rutherford Institute.
26. Civil Action
A. Political Action
27. Church Planting
In response to the shift toward Socialistic, democratic socialism, the momentum is growing for a localized "bottom-up" strategy for political problem solving. The foundation of Christian political involvement must be laid upon a Biblically-correct understanding of the authority structure of each sphere of government (self, family, church, business, civil). As political disillusionment grows, many are now calling for a new political party that will not compromise the Biblical foundation of a self-governing, free republic. Whats needed: A renaissance of personal responsibility by "we the people," forcing civil government's responsibility down to keeping the peace and punishing the lawbreaker. Key Leaders.- Mark Bellisle, Providence Foundation; Russ Walton, Plymouth Rock Foundation; Billy Falling, Christian Voters League; Tim & Beverly LaHaye, Family Life Seminars & Concerned
Women of America; Howard Phillips, U. S. Taxpayers Party; Pat Robertson ,Chnstian Coalition.
B. Public Policy
A growing number of long-term political thinker/activists have been quietly laying plans for a comprehensive strategy to regain enough political force to begin impacting the whole culture through public policy. The most realistic approach seems to be focused on local and state public policy goals and local town hall meetings, given that the trend is toward decentralization of government and local activism. 'Me key is to network church, media, business, and political leaders together without demanding total theological agreement. Key Leaders: Doug Daugherty, Chattanooga Resource Fdn.; Reed Carpenter, Pittsburgh Resource Fdn.; Tom Jackson, Dennis Peacocke, Strategic Christian Services; Dr. Jay Grimstead, COR; David Barton, Wallbuilders; Lou Sheldon, Traditional Values Coalition; Chuck Colson, Prison Fellowship, William Bennett, Empower America.
This movement is committed to church multiplication-by refocusing efforts on horizontal church planting (many, small), rather than vertical (few, big), which is less reproducible worldwide' Advocates cite the New Testament model as the norm for seeing the church grow by healthy reproduction rather than by centralized programs, seminary-trained professionals, and ecclesiastical hierarchies. Key Leaden: Jim Montgomery, DAWN 2000; Jim Hayford, Santa Barbara Foursquare Church; Dale Rumble, Fountain of Life; Carlos Ramirez, Verbo Ministries, Dr. C. Peter Wagner, Global Harvest Ministries; Bob Fitts, Saturation Church Planting.
28. Short-Term Missions
The biggest recent boon to the centuries-old missions enterprise has been the advent of short-term opportunities, which give anyone with a few spare weeks or months an up-close look at the field and a true taste of the work. Short-termers are a vibrant new link between home and the field-and the largest single source of long-term missionaries. Key Organizations: YWAM, Operation Mobilization, STEM Ministries, International Teams, RVCF Global Projects, Campus Crusade Stop Out. Key Leaders.- Art Beals, University Pres.; Harry Burke, LIM Spearhead; Dave Shibley, Global Advance.
Because of spiraling costs and closed countries, classic missionary work cannot hope to finish the job of world evangelization alone, so tentmakers are stepping in to fill the gap. At almost no cost to the church, they are going to almost every country in the world, including Creative-Access Nations (CANs). As professionals, they are easily accepted and serve as reproducible models. Some early failures have been replaced by more sophisticated efforts, including tentmaking teams. Key Leaders.- Ruth Siemens, Global Opportunities; Don Hamilton, Gary Taylor, Christy Wilson, INTENT; Dwight Nordstrom, Tentmaking Franchises Intl; Robert L Young, IICS.
There is a growing conviction that fulfillment of the Great Commission is within our grasp today. Rather than aiming at "the world," closure leaders have focused sharply on the 12,000 unreached people groups, even to the extent of mapping their locale and devising insights (like the 10/40 Window) and strategies (like Adopt-a-People) to reach them all, perhaps as soon as 2020. In fact, the A D. 2000 Movement itself is quite an array of groups. The perennial nemesis of the closure movement is the slow-growth mentality that causes the church to pour 98% of its mission efforts into established work. Key Leaders.- Luis Bush, AD. 2000 Movement; Ralph Winter, US Center for World Mission; Keith Butler, Adopt-a-People Clearinghouse; Patrick Johnstone, Operation World; Tom Houston, Lausanne Committee.
If you felt good all the way through the list, congratulations! It's probably a sign you're in tune with God's panoramic agenda of work, worship, healing, revival, restoration, reform, strengthening, warfare, renewal, service, growth, witness, obedience, and praise.
You should not be dismayed to find that your own corner of the vineyard is such a small percentage of the whole; rather, you should rejoice that your corner is indeed a vital and organic part of such a vast, dizzying, richly intricate, majestic, and ultimately, triumphant Kingdom-led by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.
There is only one Kingdom. God does not want you to view these 30 movements as a competing jumble, but as a God-breathed whole. Rid yourself of the notion that "If it's not our steeple, it's not our people."
You may have a legitimate concern about the theology or practices in several of the movements above. Perhaps you're 100% right in every case, and the flaws you perceive are all too real.
Still, you are called by God to labor alongside your brothers and sisters in every corner of the Kingdom. Today, Christian competition is out, love is in. And love works.
But if these 30 movements are a legitimate mosaic and not a jumble of optional add-ons, then we are faced with an era-ending fact: The scope of God's Kingdom work today is far broader than we can complete with today's ill-deployed Christian forces.
Take a careful look at the mosaic of movements, and you will notice that almost all of them require massive involvement (or even leadership) by lay men and women.
The work is now too broad and varied to load onto the shoulders of our usual pack mules, the clergy. They're already maxed out, and many face burnout because of our professional-driven programs. In fact, we've hit the work capacity limit for two-tiered Christianity in which the upper tier is supposed to have all the answers, do most of the work, and serve now and then as a punching bag for anything that goes wrong in the church..
Nor can we win on all 30 fronts by using the usual core activists in the laity. God's call is not for the 20% of the laymen who bear 80% of the workload to frantically do even more. It is a call for us to bravely revamp the church and compel into its very core the 80% who now feel they are mainly spectators and consumers.
For the first time ever in this country, we must make a major shift to near-total involvement, even bringing in millions of those who have given up going to church because "there was nothing in it for me."
A tall order. How can it be done? By listening to what the Commander of the Armies of Heaven is telling us now. Examine the 30 battlegrounds He has set before us, and you will find that He is preparing us for a revival that will be even more far-reaching than the pew/preacher revivals of the past. He expects purity and repentance, as always; but today He also wants US to GROW:
1. God wants your church to grow by becoming less focused on perpetuating programs-and more determined to develop each member to maturity, no matter what the cost.
If you are what the Bible calls a saint (read: layman), do not accept any static role that doesn't allow you to grow constantly in faith and ministry. On the other hand, don't allow yourself to be pulled in 30 directions at once. Get a good grasp of the big picture, then learn, learn, learn! Ask the Lord to show you where you'll best fit in, given your talents and the spiritual support base in your church. Become involved only in the one or two movements where you can have the greatest possible impact.
2. God wants your pastor to grow in effectiveness by being more of an enabler and less of a figurehead/entertainer/troubleshooter/CEO.
3. God wants all of us to grow, not only in spiritual depth, but also in the breadth of our gifts and the versatility of our ministry.
We are leaving the 1700-year-long era of spectator Christianity, in which the standard sign of a Christian was his attendance at church. We are now entering the era of open Christianity, in which Christians will be known by their true participation in the body of Christ. In the years ahead, your church will discover three keys to success: empowerment, empowerment, and empowerment.
And it's about time!