Can you identify three things God is currently doing in your congregation that would not be happening if He was not involved? Some churches could name several things; others would struggle to identify even one thing that God is doing. I'm not trying to be argumentative, but it seems that there should be things happening in churches that only God could do. If nothing is going on in a church that doesn't require supernatural power and favor, then something may be wrong.
Our Sunday night Bible study is currently going through the book of Acts. Over and over again we find God doing things far beyond what any human could do on his or her own. Some would say that God doesn't work like that today, but I would challenge that and ask them to prove that statement. Maybe the reason more of us do not see God at work as in Acts is that we are limiting Him by our doubts and unbelief. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. There is no reason He cannot be actively at work in our churches today.
One of the joys of being a pastor is seeing God work in people's lives. For reasons of confidentiality I cannot speak of specific instances, but I can say that in the past few weeks I've witnessed God do some amazing things in people's lives. Lives are being changed because of the Holy Spirit moving in those lives. A church where God is so active is an exciting place to be, and right now the church I'm currently serving as Transitional Pastor is such a place.
Do you pray asking the Holy Spirit to work His will in the lives of your congregation? That is one of my constant prayers, but it's not enough to just pray that. We have to give Him room to work. I'm in favor of structure, but we must not become so structured that the Spirit has no opportunity to break through to impact people's lives.
A pastor can't change a person's life. Our best sermons can't change someone's life. We can be instruments God uses to help bring about that change, but only God is capable of truly changing someone's life.
Does your church give the Holy Spirit room in which to work, or do you quench the Spirit? Are things happening in your church that can only be contributed to the work of God in people's lives? If that isn't happening, ask yourself why. If it is happening, give Him the praise!