My child, listen and be wise: Keep your heart on the right course. Do not carouse with drunkards or feast with gluttons, for they are on their way to poverty, and too much sleep clothes them in rags. Proverbs 23:19-21 (NLT)
What is the Preacher saying here? He is saying, ‘Keep your heart on the right course.’ He has already indicated earlier: Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. (Proverbs 4:23). He is suggesting that if we get the heart right, everything else will fall into place.
Let’s take this to the local church. The early church leaders showed little concern for issues that were external to the church. Their chief concern was for problems within the church. Internal problems could do serious damage to the church; problems in the world would have little effect – unless church members opened the door to them. So the Preacher’s advice to his son is equally apt for the church. Let’s keep the heart of the church on the right course. Let’s guard the heart of the church above all else because that determines the course of the church.
What is the heart of the church?
It has to be the leadership team, the main influencers in the church. By surveying the thirty main influencers, we get a picture of the health of the whole church.
If we need to improve the health of our church we do not have to ‘lift’ the total congregation. The focus of our strategy should be, must be, the heart of our church, the leaders, the main influencers; where they go, the rest of the church will follow. What they are, the rest of the church is in the process of becoming.