by David MainsMainstay Ministries

This Sunday my pastor begins a special summer series. It will continue through the middle of August. We talked about it, and not only does he have his subject clearly in mind, he can also articulate the precise response he wants.

“About what percentage of the congregation will eventually do what you are asking?” I questioned. “Wait,” I added. “Let’s both get a figure in mind and see if we’re close in expectations.”

Our combined figure averaged about 15%.

This wasn’t because he isn’t a good preacher. Just the opposite—he is a gifted communicator. It’s just that both of us know how hard it is nowadays to move people.

On the other hand, if 15% of the congregation make these measurable moves forward in their spiritual walk during the upcoming “dog days of summer,” that would be really quite a remarkable accomplishment.

Sometimes preachers get discouraged because their level of expectancy is unrealistic. I like where my pastor is in his head. And, I have a feeling that when he gets into August, he might be surprised that his response level is up to 20 or even 25 percent, which would be awesome.

But, if he thought unrealistically that half his people would instantly commit to his challenge, he would, of course, be disappointed. Clearly, he’s had enough experience to know that’s not going to happen.

Incidentally, what if I asked you the same question I put to him: “About what percentage of your congregation will do what you’re asking of them?”

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