Get Out of the Quicksand!!
Static (def) - Lacking in movement, action, or change, especially in a way viewed as undesirable or uninteresting. I am a firm believer in making plans for church growth because it is found in the hearts and minds of believers who are compelled by the Holy Spirit to do so. Some don't like the words "church growth" but they haven't been reading their Bible lately!! I believe it is time to get out of the quicksand of mediocrity. If we are not moving forward and reaching people for Christ, then we are going backwards. Church Growth is planned for and not "contrived!" We cannot read the letters of the Apostle Paul and ignore the need to be about God's work in reaching out to the lost AND the saved. Paul made plans for church growth wherever he traveled and then firmed up that growth through his letters of constant encouragmentencouragement and challenge. Paul could never be accused of being "static" in his walk with God. And we should not be "static" either, or we will see more and more churches going "backwards" because of a lack of challenge for their people to keep reaching more and more people.
In fact, one of the devil's best moves is to get us to explain away the need for church growth. He IS the father of lies, so his intent is to distract churches from being creative and constant in their purpose to reach "people!" Here are some major distractions he uses.
Biblically explain it away - Try to say "Oh well, God is going to do what He wants anyway so why try to change anything." I call this the "robot" Christianity of today. We have actually become lifeless and lazy in doing ministry so we "blame God" by saying He already has everything laid out and we don't have any significance in what is happening. Which really puts a hurt on even praying about anything, since it doesn't do any good. This curse in church life began to rear it's ugly head in the eighties and I could see this coming, but couldn't put my finger on it at the time because it was so well disguised. It's like America finally waking up from our sleep and realizing a whole new country has been forming under our feet while we slept, and now it seems too late to change anything. There has been a whole new model for "being" the church that has been forming also and that model is made up of lifeless, purposeless believers who have "tasted the "Koolaid" and found out they like it!
Another distraction is the church taking on a form of worldliness and kicking out Godliness to "keep up" with the latest trends. This example of church "wokeness" is killing the ministry of Jesus and watering down the gospel at every level. Church Growth is an easy target to this mentality because when we were winning people to Jesus back in the 60's, 70's, and 80's we didn't invest in discipling those new converts and now that has come back to haunt us in moving forward as "the church." We begin to hitch our wagons up to new styles that seem the most cool, and compromise Bible truths for temporary ways of reaching people. We offer a "product" to lure people to come and see what we have going on and if they think it is cool, then we can win them to Jesus. Idol worship never wins anyone to a lasting faith in Jesus, because that worship will soon fade and then you can't find those people anymore.
As you can see, it is easy to run off the tracks when we quit trying to reach, win, and develop people with the message of Jesus. In reality, the lack of commitment to the church is the direct result of the above distractions, and many more. This blog may seem too critical for some, but that might mean you are part of the reason that we are so "static!" Been there. Done that!! It doesn't lesson the fact that we need to be active in allowing God to revive our hearts and minds and coming back to our "first love!" Jesus gave this plea in Revelation 2:1 Write this letter to the angel of the church in Ephesus. This is the message from the one who holds the seven stars in his right hand, the one who walks among the seven gold lampstands: 2 “I know all the things you do. I have seen your hard work and your patient endurance. I know you don’t tolerate evil people. You have examined the claims of those who say they are apostles but are not. You have discovered they are liars. 3 You have patiently suffered for me without quitting. 4 “But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! 5 Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place among the churches.
So you can see, it is not just about "doing" things, but "being" the person Jesus has called us to be. Dont be a person who is "static" and apathetic. But be a person who is active in following the purpose of Jesus Christ and active in service to the Lord. Get a few people like that, just a few, in a church setting and it will EXPLODE!!! What are you waiting for? Time is moving on and you should be too!
The Pilgrimage Continues.....