Thursday, September 30, 2004

Reasons that there may be something wrong with your Church

Reasons that there may be something wrong with your Church

It is not growing.
The people are not growing.
You have not seen a young person for years.
All you see is young people.
Your children do not want to go.
Your wife does not want to go.
You do not want to go.
You have no visitors.
You have visitors but they never return.
Your members bring visitors… but only from out of town.
Even the visitors from out of town do not return
You have alter calls and no one comes forward.
You have alter calls and the same people from last week come forward.
You think you have no sinners in your Church.
All people hear is you voice when they are around you.
Your sermons do not seem to move people.
You do not see that you are changing lives.
You have to ask for volunteers every week.
You have to beg for volunteers every week.
You make the congregation feel guilty for not volunteering.
You make the volunteers feel guilty if they miss a Sunday.
You make the volunteers feel guilty for wanting to quit.
You make the volunteers feel guilty for quitting.
You feel burned out.
Your prayer meeting is not well attended.
People do not seem moved by your teaching.
Your giving is not much.
The congregation’s giving is not much.
You do not call on missing members.
You call missing member every time they are gone.

There is too much “you” in you service and not enough Jesus.


Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Letter to a friend

Jesus said , "the sick need a doctor not the well." As my uncle has passed away yesterday and I am faced with loss... not just mine, the loss of his children, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and nephews, and of course his two sisters, one who is my mother. We are effected greatly. In the past I mentioned about suffering. Many ask if God is a loving God why does He allow it... I say so we will do something with His Love. We need to look beyond the sadness and death and sickness. We need to look to God who has all things in His hands. We need to learn to trust Him everyday and in everyway... especially when we feel He is gone or not in control. This is when we grow the most. Jesus said, "blessed are those who see and believe, but even more blessed are those who have not seen yet still believe." When we do this we shame the fallen Angels. We show them that even though we never see God, we choose to love Him... We condemn them more because they saw His glorious Face and choose to despise Him.
We are a center of a great story... think of Job. It is not about us.. it is about the Great and living God we serve. It is about the great story of a fallen creature, who chooses to love God for Who He is.
We must persevere... because it is the gift of Life that drives us. We must gain strength in our weakness, for it is in God's Living in us we have strength.
The time you have now, Charlie, is the weariness of Christ on the Cross. The pain you have in your heart is the pain Jesus had in the Garden and on the Cross. But, by His stripes we are healed. He is the Great Physician. We are to be broken again and again to be found later in His image... a reflection of His glory. Death has lost, we see it over and over and think of it as winning, but it has lost. It is scared. Though it seems to have a minor victory, Death is scared that one day He will be judged.
Rejoice Charlie, even if it is not in your heart. Not that phony rejoicing but with wails of tears... which in heaven will be wiped away by our Saviors hands! rejoice not in the present now, but in the Eternal Now! Lift up praises not to the seen but to the unseen!
You have blessed, you will be blessed, as you are blessing to me everyday,

Monday, September 06, 2004

I am tired.

I am tired.
I have called many ministries and tried to get support for Word of Mouth Ministries for about a year now…meeting people who get excited then never show up again.
I don’t care about getting money other than it would help with some of the pressure of supporting a family and being able to spend time to reach out to the community.
I now have been working at selling cars. At first it seemed to be that I would make an income that would let us pay some bills and get this “Church plant” off the ground. I guessed wrong, as I put in over 60 hours a week and have yet to make enough to cover a part time job. I don’t mean to complain, it just as I seek to build a community the ones I find are not ready for community or to grasp at the opportunity to get back into the “church thing”…. I understand, as my mission is to leave the 99 and seek the 1. I know this is the opposite of the “church” at large who seem to be overly concerned with just the 99 that they expect the 1 to just come to them... but they won't.
I would really appreciate prayer as I am about ready to give up this vision.
I have tried to get support from “emerging church planters” and have either never received any word back, or was told I was not Calvinist enough…. which to me was really strange as I know some of the major players of pomo/emerg who would never think Calvinism as “good theology”.
I guess I can only just share my heart here in hopes someone somewhere will see this spark that God has ignited. Not just in me but also in many who seek something real and are not willing to just play church anymore.
Really, this is not a money thing…. It is a heart thing.