Jeff Bogue, president of CE National and lead pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron, gives tips and advice for leading your church and ministry well.

Be Salt and Light

Right now, with the disruption in our world, the opportunity to be salt and light is massive.

I think the church is brightest when the hour is the darkest. We have an incredible opportunity to proclaim the gospel and to help people find hope in Christ.

We do this thing at Grace Church called pray for your three. We pray for three people by name every day and ask that God would give you a “no-brainer moment”. That they would ask you for the reason for the hope that’s within you. It starts with being prayerful. I encourage everyone to pray for three people by name every day that God will work in their life. You will be shocked about the opportunities God gives you when you start being that intentional about praying for people. In those relationships, not just with the three but with all people

Give hope. That’s a big one. Believers show up different in trials than everyone else does. We don’t despair because our hope is in Christ.

Be optimistic. By optimistic I don’t mean positive thinking, humanistic stuff. I mean faith thinking. God is up to something. You have a security that a non-follower of Christ would not have. You’re finding joy in trials.

Listen to people. Listen to people. And when you’re getting tired, listen some more. Hear their stories. Hear what’s going on in their hearts. Hear what’s going on in their lives and learn about them. Don’t just share Christian platitudes or a verse that you memorized one time. Learn about them and bring Christ to their specific situation and story.

Don’t be the Holy Spirit. Let God create the “no-brainer” moment. If they don’t want to talk about God, don’t. If they don’t want to hear about the hope of Jesus, don’t cram the hope of Jesus down anybody’s throat. That’s just obnoxious.

Pray and if God gives you a “no-brainer” moment. If they do some version of asking about the reason for the hope that’s within you then boldly, concisely, with gentleness and respect, tell that story of what Jesus has done in your life and what He wants to do in theirs.