Real Talk; Going Beyond Being An Attractional Church
This post you might call, "real talk from one pastor to another". I love Pastors. This year has been overwhelming for pastors. We’re caring for people in our churches that have new challenges, The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 1 in 5 Americans had an anxiety disorder in the past year. The same is most likely true for the people in your church!
These facts are what led me as a Pastor of a growing, energetic, and what some call an emerging church to make some significant shifts. Our leadership team knew we had to better nurture the hearts and minds of our flock. Truthfully, We needed to be more than an attractional church. If we were going to disciple people to be stronger than the mental impact of today’s digital culture and social media, changes needed to be made.
Scripture tells us that, God has plans for His people, but it’s amazing how easily those plans are forgotten. Habakuk 2:2 says when God speaks, we need to write it down. Paul says it this way; We need to take every thought captive, and that includes good thoughts too!
It was with these revelations in mind, we started encouraging our church to switch back to physical bibles, and even gave them all a Pursue GOD journal. I started each message by asking the church to hold up their Bible and journal as we prayed. This really encouraged them to bring their Bibles and make note-taking part of their regular church experience. It also removed the phone pop-ups distracting them in the middle of my message.
We never could have imagined what huge transformation this would make in peoples spiritual, emotional and mental health. The impact on Sundays was immediately seen as we highlighted the practice of bringing a physical bible and journal to church.
But what happened next is what really amazed us.
The physical journal experience went beyond Sunday. People quickly began to incorporate it into their daily and weekly habits. Families started using them together, our youth group made it a focal point to connect around and small groups used them with great success.
We found that people praying for each other great increased as they actually took time to write down people’s prayer requests in their journal. I’m more convinced than ever, there’s a felt need in all people to document what’s happening in their lives and the lives of people around them. It is therapeutic for the heart and mind.
For us, testimonies keep coming in of people getting breakthroughs in their spiritual, emotional and mental health! The use of the journal and 90-Day Planner are a big part of it. As people document their journey, and the growth they are experiencing, it changes them. It also has proven to motivate others to do the same.
MY SIMPLE CONCLUSIONS
As a pastor I love to say, the personal growth we are now seeing is far beyond the pulpit, it is part of our people’s daily lifestyle!
I can now see the why God told that Israelites when they crossed the Jordan river to take 12 stones out of the middle of the river and build an altar. He told them this was something they could see and refer back to in the days and years to come. This was their journal! When we take time to document our story, the pain and the process, it is supernatural. Journaling is a powerful way for us to take the stones of our life experience and build an altar that we and others can look back on.
I believe the church has the answer to challenges of isolation, depression, anxiety and loneliness. It starts with a lifestyle that seeks God first.
This is what I love about the PursueGOD journal, its unique focus helps us seek God first as it highlights the Bibles use. It has a bible reading plan, prayer card, scriptures, calendar section and journaling pages. It’s truly the most versatile journal a christian can use.
My prayer is that this journal will help your church or small group the same way it’s helped us.
Pursue, go after and seek first the kingdom of God (Matt 6:33)
~ Pastor Poncho Lowder
PS - If you’re interested in getting journals for your church, youth ministry, or small groups check out our website for our special bulk pricing for churches. You can email us at orders@pursueGOD.com for a specific unit price quote.