Success on Sunday Begins on Saturday
As a church bus worker, it is a great feeling to get to the end of a Sunday, reviewing the day and rejoicing over all God did in the lives of those you serve. There aren’t many things that can bring the joy that comes with knowing that God used you to make an eternal difference in someone’s life. To know that God used you to invite a first-time visitor, to encourage a hurting child, to bring a family to church, or to lead someone to Jesus Christ is a fulfilling and rewarding feeling beyond description. Bus workers, and every Christian servant for that matter, LOVE successful Sundays! Sincere servants of God live to know that their lives were used to make a difference.
So, where do “successful” Sundays start? How can you ensure that your ministry on Sunday will be as effective as it could and should be? I believe that a successful Sunday in the bus ministry begins on Saturday. An argument could be made, and I have even taught, that successful Sundays begin on Monday. We ought to be praying, working, and preparing all week long for the Lord’s Day. For this article, however, I would like to focus on the work that goes into a successful Saturday in the bus ministry.
1. Have a Plan for Saturday.
Sometimes, bus workers arrive to a Saturday soul-winning meeting with no plan of attack. They have not thought about or prayed about what God would have them to accomplish that day. God is pleased when His work receives our best. He is displeased when we fail to serve Him with all that we have. In order to have a great Saturday, you must have a plan as to what you are going to seek to do.
a. Plan your Saturday schedule.
Determine how many hours you are going to go out. Map out your “route” for the day. Who are you going to visit? What needs are you going to seek to meet? What new street are you going to knock? How many invitations are you going to distribute?
It has been said that “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” Someone else wisely taught, “Without goals, and plans to reach them, you are like a ship that has set sail with no destination.”
Have you spent any time thinking about, praying about, and planning your Saturday ministry schedule? If you will do that, I can guarantee that you will be more effective in reaching people! Every minute spent in formulating a plan will reap manifold dividends for Christ.
b. Have a plan for your workers.
If you are the bus captain or ministry leader, you have a responsibility to lead those who work with you in the ministry. You should challenge them, equip them, and give them the opportunity to succeed for God. Many workers in our churches are not reaching their full potential for God because their leaders are failing to lead as they should. Have maps printed out for your workers, give them riders to follow up on, give them areas of responsibility, and set them up to succeed.
2. Have a Purpose on Saturday.
What are you seeking to accomplish in the bus ministry? Why do you give your time each and every week to this worthwhile cause? Do you have any goals – spiritual, numeric, or otherwise – for which you are shooting? You must have a clearly defined, passionate purpose if you are going to make the most of your Saturday.
If your purpose is to see entire family units coming to church on your bus, it will change how you interact with the parents of your riders. If your purpose is to reach as many people as possible, it will change the amount of door knocking that you do. If your purpose is to see your riders memorize one verse of Scripture every week, it will affect the Scripture memorization program you develop. When you have a clear purpose, it will automatically change your actions for the better.
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” It is good to have dreams for your ministry. However, to accomplish those dreams, you must have clear-cut goals – a purpose for why you are doing what you are doing. It will change the way you serve!
3. Have a Passion on Saturday.
The Bible, as well as history, is full of examples of the supernatural difference a person can make when he is passionate for Christ. Have you grown cold and complacent? Maybe you have stayed faithful to your ministry post, but the passion that once characterized your Christian walk and work has declined over time. The songwriter understood this tendency of human nature when he penned the words:
I remember the time when I first knew the Savior,
When the sunlight of blessing so flooded my heart,
Oh the sweetness of “first love,” with Jesus so near me,
and I thought such devotion would never depart.
Let the sunshine again, Let the flow’rs bloom again;
Stir the embers of love in my heart!
Holy Spirit reprove, then embrace me again;
Let the sun shine again in my heart!
If you have a passion for your bus route, you will pray, you will care, you will go, you will love, you will weep, you will work, you will serve, you will persevere, and you WILL make a difference!
So, is it a common occurrence for you to enjoy a “successful” Sunday in ministry – where you come to the end of the day physically exhausted, but spiritually overflowing from all that God used you to accomplish? If not, it may not be a “Sunday” problem, but a “Saturday” problem.
If you would like to see Sunday ministry increase in effectiveness for God, I would suggest you focus on having “successful” Saturdays for God’s glory.Have a plan, a purpose, and a passion on Saturday; and God will surely bless in great and mighty ways on Sunday.