Our churches idolize the past and yearn for the future… So pastor, if your people are not diligently working for today, you’ll always be reflecting and planning yet never doing.
We naturally celebrate the past. Our holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, and ceremonies celebrate what was or what was introduced. We look forward to the future by casting vision, dreaming, and the all too popular; wishing. Wishes and celebrations do little for the present. We fool ourselves into thinking we are making a difference today with all the festivities we create around the past and the future. Those festivities are exciting, fun, and sometimes worthwhile, but they suck up time and resources. They create busyness with no end result aside from warm feelings and a shallow sense of accomplishment. These celebrations and dreams can polarize a church’s progress. The congregation can’t move forward without setting aside the past and yet the past creates their only reason of celebration. The future can’t be attained because the resources are being spent on the celebrations of the past. The church is now captivated with what was and what is to come. What is to come never arrives because what was robs the resources of the church. The church ceases to grow because new comers aren’t emotionally attached to what happened in the past. They have not bought into what is to come. They’re only concern when visiting the church is “What is happening now that will benefit my life today.” To the ears of church leaders and members, that sounds selfish and shallow and yet we all came to Christ under selfish pretenses. We didn’t want to accept Christ for what we could do for the Church. We accepted Christ for what He could do for us now. As our relationship with Him grew, we realized we can make a difference. Thus began our own journey into ministry.
The past is important. The future is vastly important. But, the present is the reason we grow, thrive, and gain wins to celebrate in the future. How active we are in the present determines if we will have a future. A church must spend the lion’s share of resources and time on the present. Be careful to honestly asses your present ministry. Things may seem great, when in reality they are not. You can be busy and yet ineffective at the same time. If you are caught in a cycle of celebrating the past and wishing for a bright future you almost certainly must let go of the past to freely grasp the present.
God Speed to you as you progress towards a brighter future by engaging in a bright present!