Hi my friends,
I have been chatting with a few pastors in our district about the health of the church and where it is heading. Brent Trask, our district superintendent, had some powerful words to say.
I think consumerism is a big problem in the church, and a predominance of weak personal rhythms of life-giving spiritual disciplines. Hunger for God plus an ethic of personal disciplined pursuit/seeking across the majority of the local Body would be transformative to even bad church programming & worship services. Without that hunger, we always face the consumeristic equation ‘is this church doing it well enough for me to GET a spiritual buzz’. Hungry, Spirit connected disciples don’t ask that question.
I’m done with gatherings/programs whose primary intent and design is to wow people, to please people. If we do that long enough, which many North American churches have, you get to the point where every weekend the responsibility of the pastor or gathering or program is to perform a mass resurrection of the dead and needy. That’s a nasty co-dependency that Jesus isn’t very interested in.
My prayer is that we will be those “hungry, personally disciplined to seek God” kind of people.
I remember reading an interview once of Bono (lead singer of the band U2). He was being asked what the future of rock and roll looked like. He said, “it’ll be a guy and a guitar.”
Reminds me of when coach Lombardi, trying to get his professional NFL players to focus anew on the sport, said, “this is a football”.
Or, most importantly, when Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they WILL be filled!”
I do not believe that the church will disappear. It is here to stay because God has established it. In fact, He said,
“Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.”
But we need to be committed to the basics of prayer, Bible reading, fellowship, communion, and witness. It is not a complicated deal to understand though it may be complicated to follow through on.
I keep praying that God will help us seek Him with all of our hearts all of the time. It is in that practice that we will find the most joy and fulfilment in life.
This weekend is Thanksgiving weekend. It Is a great opportunity to gather with family and friends and give thanks for all that we have received. Maybe it is an opportunity for you to rebuild some bridges that have been burned, to offer a hand of peace, to swallow your pride and open your heart. Don’t hold onto any grudges, don’t let bitterness destroy what God has so graciously given you. The pandemic WILL pass, the relationships will continue. It would be a tragedy to sacrifice the longevity of beautiful relationships for differing opinions on temporary situations.
This weekend also is the last in our series, “It’s Not All About Me.” I will be preaching on the phrase, “Extravagant Generosity.” We will be looking at Romans 12:13-21 and talking about several different ways we can show generosity in our lives and as a church.
I hope your weekend is filled with love and joy and laughter (and lots of great food).
I love being your pastor.
Hi my friends,