I believe God wants your church to endure. As a pastor and cross country coach I have learned something about endurance from across two fields; and I have been amazed as to how they have complimented one another.
The word endure consists of two thoughts. One is the idea of patient suffering. Many runners I have coached can talk of the “suffering” they have done in practice running mile after mile in exhausting heat or excessive wind. On those days, they might even think about how badly they suffer, but not so on race day. When they race, the suffering suddenly had a purpose and a place. The same can true for your church. Times can become difficult for churches as we maneuver through modern culture, at times, you might even believe your church is suffering. It is possible, however, that your churchman come to a place where it looks back upon the times as a blessing of preparation for the days ahead.
The other idea of the word endure speaks the ability to remain in existence…to last. I have had students win races, and I have had students finish dead last. One of the things I love about my sport is that both receive the cheers of the crowd. There is something about someone who willingly places his or herself in an endurance setting that gains the respect of others. God wants your church to cross the finish line, His great coliseum is filled with predecessors cheering you on. He is not asking you to win the race, but make certain you stay in the race and compete as if to win.
As a certified church consultant, I am confident that time given to a general evaluation of your church and its resources will prove a valuable tool in helping your church endure well.
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