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Leading a Church in the Twenty-first Century: An International Perspective

Preach like Jesus did: seek to meet the real needs of your audience.

Seek to be a good preacher like Paul but not a great preacher. Paul said to seek excellence: “My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power” (1 Corinthians 2:4).12 This is the conclusion I have made after 15 years of teaching preaching. The impression I had previously thought that great orators pastor large churches. But after travelling around the world, I have come to another conclusion; the largest churches in the world are pastored by average preachers and men who are filled and directed by the Holy Spirit.

“Bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.”              Luke 14:21

A healing and deliverance service for those who are sick, demonized and any other problems should be conducted, I suggest, every three months. Doing so presents a balanced gospel, as described in Luke 4:16-20.13 Preaching and praying for the sick and needy goes hand in hand. This special type of service should be preceded by fasting and prayer. The regular Sunday morning service does not give us time and opportunity to fast and pray and effectively minister to the sick and the needy. However, this type of ministry can be effective through proper preparation and promotion.

Want to see God do something new? Think outside the box—let the Holy Spirit work creatively in and through your life. I think we have underestimated the Holy Spirit to work creatively in daily ministry. Every sermon we preach is a creative work of the Holy Spirit. At creation the Holy Spirit was one of the persons of the trinity who helped create the world. “Let us make man in our image” (Genesis 1: 26). “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26, ESV). As in the weekly sermon, we need to allow the Holy Spirit to work through our lives in creative ways to do ministry. The point I am trying to make is that ministry is a creative process and God leads people differently and we need to stop following successful pastors and trust the Holy Spirit to lead us in our context.

Every sermon we preach is a creative work of the Holy Spirit.

Learn to communicate with immigrants because non-Christians are coming into our country and the mission field has come to us. Missionaries who go overseas have to learn a new language and culture which takes a long time. I see new immigrants as the future of the English speaking church, but we need to be open to love and learn from their culture. We need to change; the new immigrant will naturally change. If we target a particular language group we have to realize that they are open to learn from their new culture and are open to the gospel. Genuine friendship needs to be developed before we can reach these people and we need to be transparent. Anything less than Biblical love will fail.

We need to change. We need to be open to love and learn from the culture of our immigrant neighbors.

Focus on the community you are ministering in. Open up your church building for social and community events. Identify and help in community events. If there is a bazaar happening in the community become part of it. The more people see you in the community they more they will get to know you and the more they will trust you in times of need. Mix with the people.

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Category: Ministry, Summer 2011

About the Author: Aldwin Ragoonath, Ph.D., is a trained homiletician with over twenty years of pastoral experience in the Caribbean and Canada. His ministry is devoted to helping pastors develop their preaching gift, teaching Pentecostal preaching courses and facilitating seminars around the world. He and his wife make their home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

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