By Juan Sanchez
What kind of church do you think Christians want to be a part of? What kind of church do you want to pastor? A precautious church or a prevailing church?
Randy Pope, in his book The Prevailing Church, describes a precautious church as one that’s “free from failure only because of its unwillingness to attempt great accomplishments for the sake of God and His kingdom.”
“In times that require boldness,” Pope adds, “a precautious church is afraid of its own shadow. Such a church lives by the unspoken motto, ‘We’ve got everything to lose and nothing to gain.’”
In other words, a precautious church is one that lacks vision, power, and life. Because of its unwillingness to engage in its God-given mission, a precautious church is already defeated.
A prevailing church, on the other hand, is one that’s in the heat of the spiritual battle for the souls of men, women, and children against the spiritual forces of darkness (Ephesians 6:12). A prevailing church is willing to risk all for the glory of Christ and the advancement of His kingdom.
Here are some of the differences between a prevailing church and a precautious church:
- A prevailing church is composed of Christians who understand there’s a real spiritual struggle (Ephesians 6:12), whereas a precautious church is composed of Christians who underestimate the schemes of the devil (Ephesians 6:11).
- A prevailing church is composed of Christians who equip themselves for this spiritual battle with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11, 13), whereas a precautious church equips herself for peacetime comforts.
- A prevailing church is composed of Christians who courageously engage in spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:12), whereas a precautious church is made up of Christians who cowardly evade spiritual battle, or any other conflict for that matter.
- A prevailing church actually prevails against the kingdom of darkness and its forces (Ephesians 6:13), whereas, a precautious church perishes in the face of battle.
What will it take to be a prevailing church in your community? The answer is clear: prevailing Christians.
A prevailing church is composed of prevailing Christians who’ve put on the armor of God and are willing to do battle with the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.
Precautious churches, on the other hand, are made up of precautious Christians who are interested in mere survival: no engagement, no risk, no change, so, no victory!
Now, what kind of church do you want to pastor? I guess the answer to the question depends on what kind of Christian you are.
If we are to pastor prevailing churches, then we, ourselves, must be prevailing Christians.
May the Lord grant us the grace to be strengthened with the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, and armed with the Word of God.
May we may lead a church full of prevailing Christians who understand the spiritual struggle, equip themselves with the armor of God, engage in the spiritual battle, and prevail against the spiritual forces of darkness.