My goodness. This is one incredibly busy week. It seems that we are always busy but this week (and the next few) seem to be jammed packed with things to accomplish. I can't believe this is the first chance I've had all week to sit and blog. And I really don't have that much time today, but I've got something important to share with you all!
Back a couple of months ago, I went to visit some friends of mine a couple of hours away While I was there, Tim gave me a book to read. God, in HIS sovereignty, has not had me read it until the very morning. I only read the preface and the first chapter but wow. This book is full of things that I need to hear right now. The book is called A Second Resurrection and its by Bill Easum.
It is actually written for pastors to read and then use to lead their churches to New Life.....but I KNOW God wanted me to read this book at this very point in time.
The first chapter is called "When It's Not A Matter of Sickness" and is about churches that are filled with spiritually dead people.
I just thought it worth remembering and, therefore, worthy of a blog post to note what tells you if your church is spiritually dead or not. And I like that He does point out that there is never a church that where every person there is spiritually dead, there's always a faithful remnant. I also thought that some of you might find this interesting, too. You can then judge where you think you are within your church and where your church is as a whole.
Spiritually Dead Churches.....
*Have lost their sense of mission to those who have not heard about Jesus Christ and do not pant for the Great Commission;
*Exist primarily to provide fellowship for the "members of the club";
*Expect their pastors to focus primarily on ministering to the members' personal spiritual needs;
*Design ministry to meet the needs of their members;
*Have no idea about the needs of the "stranger outside the gate";
*Are focused more on the past than the future;
*Often experience major forms of conflict;
*And watch the bottom line of the financial statement more than the number of confessions of faith.
But when resurrection begins to happen in a church, behaviors also change....
*The church turns outward in it's focus;
*Jesus, not the institution, will become the focus of our affection;
*The Great Commission will become our mandate and we will be measuring everything we do by how many converts we make rather than if we have a black bottom line;
*Membership in the Kingdom will replace membership in the church;
*Pastors will cease being chaplains of pastoral care and will become modern-day apostles of Jesus Christ;
*And those who try to control the church with an iron fist or intimidate the church at every turn of the road will be shown the door.
There is a lot of hard things to think about and look at in the differences in these two types of church. I know that ya'll are probably all like me. I want to be a part of a church that is full of spiritually resurrected people not spiritually dead people.
One of the reasons that I KNOW God wanted me to read this book right now is because I am finishing up Priscilla Shirer's One in A Million, too. And I can't tell you how fitting this first chapter of A Second Resurrection has been. How it goes right along with Priscilla's call to be one in a million who enter Canaan and have that promised-land living that God wants us all to have. I want to be that person. I want to be so in love with Jesus that it infects everyone else around me. I will be challenging the members of my bible study to do the same when we meet for the last time this Sunday night. Because I know that by truly becoming one in a million and authentically living as Christ is calling me to live, that I will affect other people. And so can the other 20 ladies in my bible study. And when we all start affecting more and more people then are, indeed, spiritually resurrected people!
God is doing BIG things in our church right now. He is working in hearts and moving mountains. Both this book and this study were ordained for me "for such a time as this". I'm in awe of His awesomeness and I cannot wait to see what He has next for our church, our community and our world!
In HIM -