The last 18 months have created an opportunity for all of our churches to prayerfully consider our next steps. For a lot of churches, the next steps are likely steps of renewal. Especially if your church was struggling before the pandemic.
Many have written that the most important thing leadership can do before change comes is create a sense of urgency. But I once heard a friend challenge that concept for leading change in a church. Oftentimes, struggling churches can become distracted by good things that aren’t the main thing. My friend argued that what churches need is a HOLY DISCONTENTMENT.
Holy Discontentment is the unquenchable Spirit-Initiated conviction that things are not as they should be—and that must change.
At the JBA, we want to help your church prayerfully seek a holy discontentment and discern the next step forward for renewal. In the first chapter of Nehemiah, the prophet’s initial response to Israel’s struggle was to mourn, fast, and pray to the one and only true God. Nehemiah has an emotional reaction to an increased awareness of what is actually happening.
He then surveys the situation and asks God for direction. Nehemiah continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. One of the sanctifying things to do in this process of thinking about Holy discontent is just simply saying: God, is what upsets me about the church upsetting to you?
Misdirected urgency leads to a flurry of action in hopes that God blesses our plans. Holy discontent leads to mission clarity from the Holy Spirit allowing us to join God as He leads His Church.
Discontent is not a fun feeling. Fortunately, Scripture gives us the secret to contentment, “I know how to make do with little, and I know how to make do with a lot. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content—whether well fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need. I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:12-13)
People are less resistant to change than we think. Don’t get me wrong – we can only take so much change in our lives at once. But what we really fear is loss.
Mission clarity is not about preferences, style, fads, or letting culture dictate what we do. However, the right combination of holy discontent and mission clarity allows us to surrender our preferences for God’s purpose.
The first step to holy discontent is increased awareness of where we are and how things are honestly going. If you look around, we can all agree that there is an increased need for the Church to shine a bright light of hope through the gospel.
At JBA, we have designed a renewal discovery process to help your church seek God’s direction. We are calling this process the 904 RenewJAX Discovery Process.
In the 904 RenewJAX Discovery Process we will partner with your leadership team in four meetings over 90 days. This process includes prayer, resourcing, exercises to survey the situation, and a method for discovering the best renewal pathway for your church.
We are all in this together. If we can help you as you lead your church, please let us know.