The word “consistency” is very important. My wife, Amanda, a great Bible teacher, often says “Consistency is the key”. It doesn’t matter what the lock is – consistency will open it. Some of you might have watched the recent Doctor Who episode, where the Doctor punches a diamond wall by punching it again and again and again for billions of years. Consistency will smash diamond! Consistency creates a Grand Canyon. Consistency is the hallmark of any great ministry, of any great business, of any great life.
Today, as I am talking about the power of loyalty, I would like to say that one of the most powerful things you can do to change your life for the better is develop consistency towards the local church.
When you start a new church, the people who come are often the church hoppers. They are coming to you because you are new, and when you stop being new they will leave. What you need as a pastor to grow a great church is consistent people.
There are four levels of consistency, and you need to understand them and work on your heart to become a consistent person.
- Inconsistent people are your fair-weather friends. This is the kind of person who is only consistent when things are going well. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is actually inconsistency!
- It’s amazing how many people were not my friend when I had 5 people in my living room, who now want to be my friend. Are now happy to come minister at the church. Are now happy to get to know me. One denomination told me they wouldn’t not ordain me because I was too fanatic on healing, yet when I suddenly had a growing church wanted to ordain me. I told them I was more fanatic about healing than I ever was, but that doesn’t matter now I guess!
- There are inconsistent people in every church. They come when the church is doing well and you have a big name speaker and the church is flourishing. The second there is conflict or crisis, they disappear. You can never rely on these people. These people think they are consistent and have no idea they are not! If you are a pastor, you need to preach on this every so often and help these people see they are inconsistent.
- Situational Consistency
- The next level of consistency is people who are consistent within a certain situation. If they are in your class at college, they will be a consistent friend. As soon as college is over, you will never see them again.
- Some people are committed to local church because it fits their situation. It is the closest church to the train station, to their house. If another church opens up nearer, they will go there. They will be utterly committed while they are with you, but the second the situation changes, they will be gone.
- Non-situational Consistency
- This is a great level of consistency. It is not easily offended, it doesn’t matter if other churches are planted nearby, they still go. Even if they moved an hour away from the church, they would still come. They are committed to the house. They are consistent people!
- If you have friends like this, they are friends indeed. They are your friends no matter where they live, what you do, how often you get in touch. You pick up the phone, and wow – it’s like the friendship picks up just where it left off.
- Covenantal Consistency
- The highest level of consistency is covenantal. It is an unyielding, never leaving, never forsaking consistency. You should absolutely have that in your marriage, and you should have a few friends that consistent to you.
- And if you are that consistent to your local church, life will go well for you!
- It means that happy times and unhappy times aren’t the issue, the issue is that you are consistent.
If you are a pastor, don’t promote people who only have situational consistency. If you are in a church, think about your consistency. If you are a human, do you have friends who are consistent. Good friends are so important for your destiny.