Dennis McCallum on Committed Ethos

Extreme commitment is admired and demanded by old and young
in our current context, but this has not been directed well to church involvement.  Children ages 3-12, over the last 20 years, have decreased leisure time by 24% and play time by 16%, while organized sports and arts time have drastically increased.  In 1979, parents worked an average of 63 hours per weak; in 2000 it was 76 hours per week. Church leadership fears back-lash to calling people to a high commitment, yet a major section of their people are wanting and waiting for this.

Time – it’s the one thing no one thinks they have, but the one thing they’d need to sacrifice to experience community like we read of in
the book of Acts. 

What you need to develop a high commitment church:

  • Strong personal convictions, ready to be argued.
  • Readiness to lose people – those that just want to be comfortable and fed will leave. You have to be ready to get your church smaller if need be.
  • Communicate high expectations.
  • Take high commitment for granted.  Make it so expected that it’s not uniquely celebrated when it happens.
  • Transmit it relationally.  Many will catch commitments more than be taught it.  Also, you’ll be able to catch sin issues that are inhibiting passion and progress.
  • Include practical advice.  “Why don’t you try this…”  “Why don’t you come watch me when I…”
  • Pace change accurately.  Change takes time.  There are no silver bullets with fast
    results.
  • Proving plausibility.  Show that this working in a number of places.
  • Emotional stimulation – to some extent.  Encouragement works best… as long as they are already doing something.  encouragement without activity is just flattery.
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