I've been a church planter for 15 years. People often ask, "Why do some churches succeed and others don't?" That's a good question! Some people point to leadership. Others believe it's a certain type of music and worship style that reaches people in the neighborhood. A few say it has to do with resources--without funding, churches wither. Still others say that prayer is what makes a church succeed.
All of those answers are right--to a degree. But every new and existing church really depends on the Holy Spirit. The Spirit gathers crowds to hear sermons. The Spirit transforms those crowds into congregations. The Spirit gives gifts to believers and works in speakers and music and hearts so that people hear the gospel "in their own language."
A friend of mine, a wonderful pastor, started two new congregations. One flourishes still today. The other lasted only two years. God called him to begin that second congregation, and, unexpectedly, God also called him to close it. Church evaluators might point to all sorts of reasons his second church didn't make it, but he sees the hand of God.
We depend on God's Spirit. We can't make one single convert. But God's Spirit does. He can convert 3,000 people in one day. And God could even use you.
"Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me." Guide us to depend on your leading each day as we strive to witness for Jesus' sake. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!