Thursday, December 18, 2008

A church with "it" (part 1)

About a month ago, i finished reading a fantastic book on ministry leadership - "it" by Craig Groeschel. The idea behind the title is to capture the heart of a word that is used in the context of describing and individual, small group, or church that has it; the movement of God. For example, when we hear of a church that is ministering to a large number of people, and God is "adding to their number daily", where people's lives are being changed for the cause of Christ, where the hurting and those in need are being ministered to and cared for, where everyone from the pastor to every member is totally lit for God and are changing the world around them - that is a small example of a church with "it".

If you lead a small group, bible study, Sunday school class - you need to read this book. If you are the spiritual leader of your home, your wife, your kids - you need to read this book. If you ever encounter another person in your life, and you have the slightest bent towards kingdom mindedness - you need to read this book.

Getting off track... a church with it.

i was reading Romans a couple months ago, and read two profound things that never caught my attention before. I shared this with a few of you by email previously, and wanted to spend some more time on this. This blog will focus on the first of those two things; part two to follow... Here is part 1.

"First, i thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world." Romans 1:8

Would Paul say this of your church? Could he?

The church that I attend has been the buzz for the last several years. In the church-world, people say that Life Church is innovationally leading the charge to find new ways to connect with a generation that rejects the church and the christian, and absolutely yearns for people to be impacted by God so that they would be fully devoted followers of the Lord Jesus.

Sounds like a great heart (and i believe that it is), but what does the non-Christian world say about us - you know, the one that doesn't believe in God, practically or actually? It seems that there is often a great disconnect between the belief's of a given church and the actions and hearts of its members. Is our faith being reported all over the world? Or are we just nice people who don't truely care enough to share the life-changing message of the gospel with a world that is hurting and looking for real purpose and meaning?

What if we just started with our own local church as the "world"? Jesus said that we are the light of the world, a city that cannont be hidden. Why would we ever even consider hiding it? My prayer is that God's people would absolutely shine for Him and that God absolutely wrecks the people of churches all over the world, so that they would possess an unwaivering faith in Jesus, one that demonstrates that we trust in God, and not our jobs or 401k, or anything else. I pray that God would use the local church to radically change people's live, so that the "world" reports our faith all over the world.

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