The is a old adage of, “Speed of the leader, speed of the team.” The evangelistic temperature of any church can be measured by one person – the pastor. If the pastor has a heart that is broken and continues to be broken for the lost in their community it will spread like a virus through the board, staff, lay leaders and members.
It will guide every decision.
It will affect their calendar.
It will impact their schedule.
It will be reflected in their budget.
Let me offer a few thoughts to help pastors and planters raise the evangelistic temperature of their hearts, thus raising the evangelistic temperature of their churches.
Walk Slowly and Prayerfully through Your City
While Paul was waiting for his traveling companions in Athens he walked through the city and his heart became ‘distressed’ (Acts 17:16 NIV) by what he was seeing. His heart was broke for the wandering souls who were striving to connect with God. It is very easy as a pastor to let our hearts become hardened towards people. We can become hard out of our own weariness from ministry and our frustration in leading people who don’t want to be led. This is when we need a fresh vision and a new burden for the masses of humanity right at our own doorsteps who are striving to find a connection with God. Jesus’ missional heart was broken for his people when he cried out, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” (Matthew 23:37 NIV) So our hearts must be broke for our cities, our counties, our states, our country and our world.
Routinely as a pastor, I prayer walked through the heart of our city, praying for business and community leaders. During those times God would strangely warm my heart to the needs of our community as I would start to see our community from Jesus' eyes and with Jesus' heart.
Is prayer walking a discipline you practice?
My friend, Dan Maxton, provides a great summary of the basics involved in prayer walking. Download basic_guidelines_for_prayer_walking.doc