It’s easy for people in our congregation to know in their heads that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ, but to act and speak in ways that reveal a different understanding: that good works bring good rewards.
As a church leader, you’ve probably noticed that when your assumptions are incorrect, you’re more likely to implement plans that don’t go anywhere. Why? Because what we’ve assumed to be true about the people in our congregations isn’t in line with reality. So, we’re forced to go back to the drawing board to determine what went wrong.
Much of our angst could be resolved by correcting our assumptions.
Here are three wrong assumptions we often make:
1. Your church wants to grow by reaching the lost.
Every pastoral candidate hears the search committee say, “We really want to grow!” Usually these comments are offered in good faith. The pastor is excited to know that the influencers in the church are committed to seeing the church grow. It’s easy to begin making decisions based on that information.
Unfortunately, there are two elements that make this assumption wrongheaded. First, it may be true that some in your church want to grow, but it’s also possible that the majority simply say they want growth, but not at the expense of their preferences.
Secondly, it’s possible that the church really does want to grow, but their vision of growth is different than yours. They see “good growth” as attracting tithing families from other congregations or established Christians new to the area. They aren’t necessarily passionate about seeing growth take place by reaching lost people far from God, and that makes them less likely to support your ideas of changing things in order to reach the lost.
2. Your church believes the Bible should be the ultimate authority for life.