Many years ago, we were visiting with some friends in their home having dinner. Our friend’s father, who was a pastor, happened to be there also. Of course, the conversation turned to the ministry. We were young, successful and enthusiastic about our first church plant. Actually, it was our first ministry. The pastor asked my husband, “To what do you attribute the rapid growth of your church?” Phil answered, “I preach expository sermons.” He responded, “Brother, that’s been done before!”
I’ve never forgotten that comment. How many of us are doing everything right and things are just not working according to plan? You pray, preach and tend the flock, but they are just not responding with the growth, enthusiasm or regular church attendance you’d expected to see.
Your services are well put together and they love them, when they’re there, but you find yourself exhausted trying to keep up with it all. Summertime means vacations for everyone but you, so you never know who’s going to show up. The offering goes down as the summer goes on. You start feeling guilty that perhaps you’re not doing something right. Maybe there’s sin in the camp? Why is God not blessing? These are questions you ask yourself and your core team. Why is this work not growing?
Stay with me here …
On our property, we are fortunate to have lots of animals. We also have a pond full of fish: carp, koi, bass and bream. I like seeing the animals, and I like seeing the fish, but for me the best thing of all is the ducks that live here permanently. When I have the opportunity, I really enjoy watching them. We’ve had a rotating bunch for many years now, so I’ve had ample time to observe their habits.