Living the Christian life is hard. Being a leader in a church, pastor, deacon, elder board is incredibly hard.
It seems effective church leaders are always needing to challenge people that there is more to strive for and that can be unsettling. Yes, we can be content in knowing we are justified because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross. We can know that His sacrifice was enough because of the Father’s acceptance of it, as seen in the resurrection.
But, our Christian walk does not end in our justification (in some ways, I guess it does), because there is also the matter of our sanctification. What I’m talking about is our growth, our need to be always maturing in our relationship with God, which is a lifelong process.
For every believer, there should be a longing to become more like Christ. Growth is uncomfortable. As the branch is pruned (as is mentioned in John 15 ) it is not a comfortable thing, but nonetheless, a necessary one.
The same thing could be expanded out to a body of believers, the local church. We are never called to be a comfortable, complacent church, but a growing body. I believe that should be looked at both from a quality, as well as a quantity view.
Jesus told His disciples to pray that more people would be sent out to the harvest–why? to enlarge the harvest.
We are called to go and make disciples, which also leads to growth (quality and quantity).
So, I would encourage every pastor, elder, deacon, and deacon board to enlarge your vision and ask Almighty God to increase your faith. Pray and ask Him to enlarge your local body (quality and quantity) in the next year, 3 years, or 5 years by ___% and see what He does both in the lives of individuals, as well as the whole local fellowship (quality and quantity).
Have a realistic expectation that change will bring discomfort to people-its a given. But keep to a focused vision and hope of seeing more and more people develop a growing faith. Keep your pedal to the metal in aggressively looking for ways to help grow the faith of your church in quality and quantity.