04 Jul God Wants To Do (And Is Doing!) Even Greater by Jim Graff
God is doing even greater than what we could think today. He is doing things beyond our power as pastors to bring to pass. Today, I want to talk to you very practically about times I know as a pastor that God moved us forward. It wasn’t because I preached better. It wasn’t because I led better. It was because His power was at work in the midst of the church and me as its pastor. We were in unity in terms of what the Holy Spirit was up to.
I love the scripture that says Jesus is the High Priest and the Apostle of our faith. “High Priest” means He bring us into connection with God. “Apostle” means He establishes things in the earth, right? So for Significant Church, part of why God brought it into being was simply because Jesus is the High Priest. Many of the pastors I know didn’t think they would become pastors one day. They didn’t think they would be in ministry. But when Jesus connected them to God, He said, “I have a role for you to play.”
And then Jesus wants to the be Apostle. He has put things in our hearts to establish in our towns and cities. God raised up Significant Church to help pastors reach the dream that God put in their hearts through strong relationships that have resources attached. But most of all, we enjoy the relationship, right? That is what it’s like with Jesus. The Son shows up and you love Him. Next thing you know, He has you doing things you never dreamed possible. For me, that is the special part of Significant Church. It was hard to go to bed every night after our recent conference. We were having such a good time together in relationship!
To me, Significant Church started because of my dad. I grew up with a bunch of uncles that were good athletes. One of them played for the Kansas City Athletics, and then he ended up being the Director of Scouting for the Pittsburg Pirates when I was a kid. I have another uncle who was an executive with a $200-million-plus construction firm every year. He was the top dog. My dad, he lived by my grandfather, who was a foreman for a plant but bought a farm in retirement. My dad was a researcher with PPG. He was a part of seeing new plants open, but I never thought of him as a researcher. To me, he was a volunteer fire guy.
There was a group of guys in our town that came together and committed that when the fire alarm blew, they would rush to the scene to help. Our town of 1,000 had someone who cared about that fire being put out.
He was also my Little League coach, and he led us to win the county in the All Stars. My Dad would tell me over and over again, “I love small towns.” And what’s funny is I could have born to anybody, right? But God chose to have me born to this man. Then I go to ORU originally to play baseball. Then I’m in big churches and big places. I married Tamara Osteen, who’s dad has a big church in one of the biggest metroplexes of the area. I get invited to speak in a small town, and as I speak, God starts dealing with my heart.
Four years later, I get offered a church the size of mine now in one of the major metropolitans of the U.S. I’m thinking I’m going to go just because my heart is always to pastor people. But when I went to say yes to the pastor, God gave me an undeniable no. Then, I was driving through East Texas and I came to a small town, looked at a beautiful football stadium, and God said, “Your mission is to help there be great churches in every one of these towns that people are more excited about than the best football teams.” So we came home and built the campus that we are in now.
I did a survey and I found out where God was doing cool things in smaller towns. I flew out to meet with the pastors, and we would talk. Eventually it grew into a relational network that has a mission for America but is also worldwide where people are underserved by the local church.
In the three to four decade since, I have seen non-denominational churches, specifically, grow from 12 million to 21 million in America. God is doing something, and these churches are the catalyst. Now, I believe God is moving everywhere there are hearts that want to follow Him. The denominational label doesn’t matter. He shows himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are turned towards Him.
Imagine a whole community with hearts bent toward Jesus. We have to win them. We have to win the hearts of our communities. We have to win the heart of our nation again. Imagine what God will do when so many hearts are turned towards Him!
My heart today is to help the pastor who feels like, “I know God has a call on me. I know Jesus is the Apostle and High Priest of my faith. And I know He has put things in my heart that I’m supposed to reach for, but I’m not reaching them.” If that’s you, you know Ephesians 3 says to get your heart rooted in God’s power. You can do that by staying in prayer and the Word and by surrounding yourself with people who understand and will help you reach the goals God has given you. That’s why I love doing the things that we do here at Significant Church because we want to be that community for you and bring you advice on best practices. If we all share our revelations of Jesus, we are going to be a lot better together then we will by ourselves.
There are 4 ways that God put on my heart to help pastors like you:
1. Leadership webinars every two weeks so you know you are not out there alone.
2. A ministry warehouse where you get a lot of free resources like artwork to use. You can go here to see all the free stuff you get.
3. Exchanges. Exchanges are events where our Local Connectors make sure pastors are not alone. 64% of pastors feel like they are out there without brothers and sisters in the faith.
4. Annual Conference. At the end of the day, most of us don’t need somewhere else to preach; we just want to be in an environment where we feel the pleasure and the presence of God.
Pastor, I believe God wants to help you reach not what you’re thinking about but greater than you’re thinking about! God wants to make things come to pass, not that you make happen in your own power but what can only happen through Him. He wants to take you further than you ever thought you could go. His power is creating favor for your future. I just want to encourage you: Don’t live isolated, because isolation is what is killing pastors. Together, we can have so much fun experiencing God’s presence. I promise, if you join with us at Significant Church, you’re going to see that something is very right here. Some of my best friends have come out of Significant Church, and I believe yours will too.
Pastor, let’s give God all the time He asks for this year. Let’s not ask God to bless our schedules; let God set the schedule and then let’s let the Holy Spirit have His way. Let’s fast a little more this year. Let’s stay connected to each other. Let’s see what God does in the days ahead!