All to Jesus, I surrender. All to him I freely give. We passionately sing this hymn as the choir leads us in worship. As most leaders, we find most people’s time going to church is once a week, maybe twice depending if they’re in a small group or mid-week service. But does going to church, paying our God-tax constitute surrendering our all to Jesus?
As one of the pastors in my church, I find it difficult to understand why it is that the average church attendee is in service 3-times a month. If they come two to three times a month, we call them a regular attender. How do we help more people draw near the heart of God?
But what we find is most people are not committed.
The one thing people lack is surrender. They don’t like leaving their comfort zones. Jesus calls us to live lives for him. The question; is that something we practice in our own lives? It’s easy for us as leaders in our families, churches and workplaces to become comfortable in our daily lives. We don’t like to be pushed further than we can handle. After all, doesn’t the Bible say God won’t give us more than we can handle?
I’ve found that often times, when things are rough and not going the way I would like, that’s when I need to seek the Lord’s face. His desire is for us to be active followers of him. But that takes persistence.
As leaders we are called to be the ones to set the example. Live lives that exemplify Christ.
Recently mega-church pastor, Creflo Dollar asked his constituents to give him several million dollars to buy a Gulf-Stream jet. After the blogosphere and media blew-up in protest, he decided it wasn’t best after all.
The question is, are we in ministry for ourselves or for the Lord?
Tammie Head says this in her book More: From Messes to Miracles
These days I am resigned to go with God. Even if it kills me. Could he be calling you to do the same?
* I’m not talking about going to church more.
* I’m not talking about doing another bible study.
* I’m not talking about listening to another podcast.
* I’m not talking about attending another small group or reading another God-book.
I’m talking about throwing ourselves at Jesus’ feet and surrendering our guts out–to the one who promises to fulfill us beyond our imaginations.
When we as leaders figure out why we do what we do, God is glorified and people will follow our example. Everything we do is to exemplify the glory of God in our areas of influence. And when we begin to live lives of total surrender to him, people will see that example and draw closer to the Father’s heart.
We may not get everyone to attend church on a week-in-week-out basis, but if we can get one person to surrender their everything to him, we’ve done our job.
So what is the one thing we must give up?
There is nothing more sacred than our own flesh. We desire what we want, but God is asking for everything. Do you know how good God has been in your life? Take a look backward, see what has transpired. Where has God brought you? Do you see the good, the bad and the ugly?
Sometimes to be in the presence of God, we have to be willing to stop and rest. Take time out of each day to rest in his guiding presence. That’s all he asks for. He wants us to be totally committed followers of Christ.
The way to have more committed followers in our churches is to be surrendered in our own life and watch him pour out of us into those we minister.