We are wired to be competitive people. We want to win at all cost. We want to gain as much stuff, whatever it may be, before we die. Does God really promise us that we can gain by losing? It goes against the notion inside of our human brains. We know that the message of the Gospel goes against the wisdom of the world and is simply foolishness to those who do not believe it. The thought of gaining by losing sounds like something that would be true when compared with Scripture, but just because something sounds true does not mean it is truth.
After reading the book Gaining by Losing, I can say that the words of Greear are applicable, timely, and rooted in Scripture. If I had to boil the book down to a principle it is that God will return everything that we give up for Him. This includes things such as money, talents, and even people. Throughout the book Greear makes sure to keep everything rooted in Scripture and he wants to ensure that churches are aware that we can grow through giving away things.
As we give away money, as we sacrifice to use our talent, and when we send out people from our church to start other churches and movements, God will supply the people and means to replace them. In fact, in His awe-inspiring provision, God will often return more than we gave up for His cause. He will send people to fill the gaps and fill them abundantly.
The bulk of the book is Greear giving us examples of how his church, The Summit Church, has managed to implement these ideas throughout the past few years. With these examples come stories of not just the church giving things up, but seeing God restore these things that are offered up as a sacrifice. Greear believes that the churches that grasp this and are willing to recognize that God will provide will leave an eternal impact on the world around us.
This book, Gaining by Losing, is a must read for church leaders everywhere. In fact, it is something that I would recommend to churches of all sizes and ages. It is one that every church needs to read and take to heart. As a church planter, I understand the importance of this. As we continue to grow, I want to make sure that we are constantly giving out as a church knowing that the eternal impact on our church and on nations around the world will be greater than we could have ever imagined.
Gaining by Losing
People are leaving the church J.D. Greear pastors. Big givers. Key volunteers. Some of his best leaders and friends. And that’s exactly how he wants it to be.
When Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, he revealed that the key for reaching the world with the gospel is found in sending, not gathering. Though many churches focus time and energy on attracting people and counting numbers, the real mission of the church isn’t how many people you can gather. It’s about training up disciples and then sending them out. The true measure of success for a church should be its sending capacity, not its seating capacity.
But there is a cost to this. To see ministry multiply, we must release the seeds God has placed in our hands. And to do that, we must ask ourselves whether we are concerned more with building our kingdom or God’s.
In Gaining By Losing, J.D. Greear unpacks ten plumb lines that you can use to reorient your church’s priorities around God’s mission to reach a lost world. The good news is that you don’t need to choose between gathering or sending. Effective churches can, and must, do both.