Last weekend, Århus Café Church was away together on a spiritual retreat for the first—but definitely not last—time in our history as a church. We had lots of fun, enjoyed good music, prayer, inspiring teaching, and just hanging out together.
Regina and Juris Rekis—good friends, and founders of the church plant “Korinta” in Riga—provided awesome inspiration and challenged the group to go out and do something for God and make a difference for Århus. The reaction is overwhelming; a great number of people have indicated willingness to be more committed, and lots of good ideas have surfaced. So the big question now is: how do we as leaders keep this flame burning?
The obvious answer—which a friend gave me today—is that it’s not our responsibility, but God’s. As leaders we are called to do the tasks we are charged with. But so is everybody in the church. We are responsible to God, and committing ourselves to Him as leaders should be our foremost priority.
Even so, it can seem daunting. In the parable of the talents, Jesus says: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV) I feel in some ways that God is telling us: “OK, well done so far. Now let’s go to the next level.” Which is going to be fun, but challenging.
Church growth comes from the grass roots, and we have a strong and committed core of people with a passion for turning Århus Café Church into something really big. Our job as leaders will be not to stifle that passion; but to facilitate initiative, ministry, responsibility, and growth in every member. And to inspire them to continue to grow as disciples.
A great responsibility, indeed, if it were ours alone. Fortunately, it is not we as leaders who create growth, but the Holy Spirit. Paul writes: “I planted the seed. Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.” (1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NIV)