Church Leaders: A Unique Window of Opportunity
Church Doctor Report
2022 Special Issue #1
PURPOSE: To connect with those who have an active relationship with Church Doctor Ministries as peers in ministry, clients, and partners in prayer and support.
The Church Doctor Report provides a quick read of strategic and influential information. This information is free to share as long as the source is respected: The Church Doctor Report, www.churchdoctor.org.
It’s hard to see history when you are in the middle of it. Most of us focus on the obvious issues. It takes a second, diagnostic approach to think through the implications.
What are the opportunities of this moment in history—for you, as a Christian, and for your church? In this short article, the objective is to help you see what is likely an opportunity of a lifetime: for your church, for the Christian movement, and for unchurched people you may already know.
“Give Us a Sign”
In Matthew 16:3, the Pharisees and Sadducees approached Jesus. Their motive was to test Him. They said, “Give us a sign from heaven.” Jesus answered, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ And, in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”
In 1 Chronicles 12: 31-32, the sons of Issachar were chosen as leaders to install David as king. Scripture says they represented the tribe of Issachar because they were “men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel should do.” Another translation says, “These leaders knew what Israel should do and the best time to do it.”
Two Worldwide Issues: Christians, Take Note!
#1: While we hold our breath, perhaps COVID is coming to an end. Masks are coming off, restaurants are opening up, the long pandemic may be subsiding. The result? A quiet sigh of hope and relief.
Perhaps no person on the planet has made it through COVID without the tragic death of someone they know. Most have lost someone whose life was cut short by the virus.
When that occurs at such magnitude, every person—no matter what their level of spirituality—has felt the undeniable reality that life is not forever. Death has a way of putting life into perspective. From the dynamic of faith, insecurity about life breeds receptivity to eternal issues. Jesus would say, “Look to the harvest; it is ripe and ready.”
Scripture is clear: Chaos creates opportunity for faith. Perhaps that is why Jesus was born at the time of the Roman occupation—when the Jews were asking, “What happened to the land God promised us?”
Those who are unchurched are likely more receptive than ever before. However, harvesttime doesn’t last forever.
#2: Many who are not yet Christians—and within reach of your church—are likely feeling the disruption in our greater world. You already know the issues. They scream elements of chaos and uncertainty. Every newscast reflects civil disturbance nearby and abroad.
As followers of Jesus, Christians have supernatural hope. Yet, that doesn’t guarantee a comfortable world. Unbelievers have different values—some of them evil, as you know. Yet, many others are hungry, starving for hope—and peace that goes beyond human understanding.
Perhaps these two factors have provided a window of opportunity unlike any time in recent history.
Then, There Is the Church
Did you ever wonder why some churches reach more people for Christ than others? There are churches that reach a wide age range of people—including young families—while churches nearby report a diminishing crowd that is older. Many churches increase membership primarily by “transfer growth”—adding those who are already believers. A large number of churches struggle to reach a majority of people who are unchurched in their own backyards.
The difference, most often, is the failure to practice biblical mission principles that work. Of course, God wants lost people “found” and brought into the church. Every church has the potential to grow. Sadly, most Christians have never been trained to be “missionaries” to their own social networks.
Over the last four decades, the team at Church Doctor Ministries has worked with nearly 2,000 congregations from 78 denominational, nondenominational, and independent churches in the U.S.—and trained thousands of Christians in a dozen countries around the world.
When the world seems to be at its worst, God is often at His best—working through church leaders who have the wisdom to grow their congregation’s outreach effectiveness. There has never been a more important time to increase your church’s effectiveness to reach those who are far from God. The harvest is ripe.
We praise God for the responses from the leaders of churches we have recently helped.
- “I’m so thankful for the entire Church Doctor team! God is on the move, and we are beginning the journey to church health. I highly recommend the team at Church Doctor Ministries for any congregation desiring increased church health and mission focus for the Kingdom of God.” ~ Pastor, Florida
- “Rebuilding the momentum lost due to COVID is paramount for our congregation. Thank you, Church Doctors.” ~ Pastor, California
- “You were so instrumental…you came to be with us at just the right time.” ~Pastor, Arizona
- “I thank God for you and pray the Lord’s richest blessings as you continue to serve our Lord and His church in marvelous ways, especially in these days of great mission challenges and opportunities.” ~ Pastor, Michigan
Look at this challenging and disruptive time in history as an opportunity of receptivity. (1) Many Christians are wondering about how their church can reach more people for Christ—and make a greater impact on their community. (2) Many of those who are not yet practicing Christians are searching for meaning and hungry for hope.
Is this a time for you to increase the effectiveness of your church to reach your community for Jesus Christ?
Kent R. Hunter has served as a pastor, blogger, podcast teacher, international conference leader, author, radio commentator, church consultant, and conference speaker. As founder of Church Doctor Ministries, Kent’s passion is helping the local church become more effective for making disciples of Jesus Christ.