I just finished reading "The Irresistible Church" by Wayne Cordeiro. Here's the nutshell. Great read!
An irresistible church is not a perfect church. Rather, it is one that constantly aligns itself to what pleases God. It comprises a people who position their hearts carefully and deliberately within the tenets of the kingdom so that God is pleased to work in unrestricted ways. God is irresistibly drawn to a church where every activity, every plan, and every leadership decision clearly displays His heart.
Trait 1: An Irresistible Church Hungers For the Presence of God. Seeking the presence of God is of utmost importance in our churches. One man quipped, “You could take the Holy Spirit out of half the churches in America and they would keep right on going as if nothing happened.”This reality is abhorrent, especially in these last days. An irresistible church longs for God’s presence more than anything—more than spacious facilities, cutting-edge programs, large attendance, or big budgets.
Trait 2: An Irresistible Church Remembers Who it Is. We’re not beggars or bandits. Christ o ers abundance. 2 Peter 1:3 indicates that “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.”This means we have all the power we need for spiritual vitality. We can live victoriously in light of Christ’s ministry. We are able to worship God wholeheartedly. We do not need to be enslaved to sin. We are able to care for people and accomplish humanitarian and social justice e orts. We are able to love others as Christ loves us. We are able to be and do as Christ invites us to be and do.
Trait 3: An Irresistible Church Lives Heart First. I am not suggesting that competency within a church isn’t important. Heart and excellence are not mutually exclusive. In other words, it is not either/or. It is both/and. A common tendency is to use heart as an excuse for sloppiness. But when we live heart rst, excellence usually follows.
An irresistible church may have some crooked teeth, and not everyone may sing in perfect pitch, but neither of those things keep people away. It’s when the image wears away and they see that we’ve been lip-syncing that everything loses its luster.
Trait 4: An Irresistible Church Practices Gratefulness. I believe God is more concerned about our being grateful than just about anything else. A spirit of gratefulness is developed whenever we pause to notice a rainbow or refuse to rush past a sunset. When we take the time to notice, we feel a deep appreciation arising in us that wasn’t there before. We are again reminded that we are surrounded by things we don’t deserve but have been granted nonetheless.
Trait 5: An Irresistible Church Promotes Healthy Relationships. It’s when people get along with each other. It’s when a church promotes and encourages a sense of unity in the bond of love. Possessing this trait doesn’t mean that everyone in a church always agrees with everyone else or that there are never any problems. It simply means that when problems do occur, we take the time and e ort to resolve them in a timely manner.
Trait 6: An Irresistible Church Is Always Learning. One of the best vehicles for helping us learn comes from an unlikely source: the mistake. Few people, me included, enjoy making mistakes. But if we take time to purposely re ect upon our mistakes, much wisdom can result.
Trait 7: An Irresistible Church Promotes Spiritual Self-Feeding. Feeding ourselves is no one’s responsibility but our own. I cannot expect others to feed me. My growth and maturation is not the responsibility of a pastor, an elder, or a Sunday school teacher. Certainly these people will help coach me, instruct me, encourage me, and sharpen my skills, but I alone am responsible to feed myself.
Trait 8: An Irresistible Church Connects Everything To A Soul. Every function of the church is connected to the mission of somehow, somewhere, saving the lost and helping people grow in the faith. A church is not simply a subculture with its own music, fashions, diets, and movies. We are asked to be a counterculture, and in order to be salt we must be that. We cannot settle for being a community of people who rally around a common cause. Eternal consequences give our work earnestness and purpose. God invites us to love, serve, and obey Him, and part of the adventure of following Him means that we get to have a hand in helping people nd their way to Him.
Trait 9: An Irresistible Church Chooses To Love. A church must minister out of love: love of Christ rst, and love for its community second. This mandate parallels the teachings of Christ. Matthew 22:35-40 records the story. An expert in the law asked Jesus what was the greatest commandment. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the rst and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Love God. Love others.
Trait 10: An Irresistible Church Takes Risks. If a church does not choose to risk, a church will not grow. When we purposely disturb our comfort and stability for the sake of advancing the kingdom, spiritual growth occurs. A church that takes risks is a church that understands that faith is alive. Our calling is not to arrive at a destination of stability, but to travel a pathway of constant growth and transformation. In order to live by faith, we must be willing to disturb the equilibrium of our lives.
Trait 11: An Irresistible Church Humbles Itself. Humility is remembering who we are in light of who God is. As Christians, we have a vital assignment that we don’t want to miss. It’s easy to get caught up in many things and miss what we’re supposed to be about. But we are called to serve God and to pour our lives into signi cant matters. Sometimes what is signi cant can surprise us. Matthew 10:42 says that even a cup of cold water given in Jesus’ name can be signi cant. Our invitation is to represent and radiate Christ, to be ambassadors for Him, to think what He thinks, and to speak what He speaks. Our calling is to serve God in any way He asks.
Trait 12: An Irresistible Church Has A Plan. This kind of church has earnestly sought God’s guidance, developed a blueprint from that guidance, and boldly stepped forward to implement the plan. This kind of church knows where it’s going, or at least it has a very good idea of its direction. But although this church has a plan in place, it also acknowledges that God can change the plan at any time. The irresistible church has a plan, but the plan is exible.
That’s our invitation as irresistible churches: to see prayerfully what could be in order that it can be and to walk to the edge of the light you have been given. And the good news is this: If you are willing, you’ll hear heaven’s voice say, “Come. Let’s walk down this road together.”