I was thinking today, about how there are so many churches just struggling to get by. So many that want to do the right things, grow, reach more people, but just aren't a church that is really living. The church is dying. As I was thinking about it, it hit me. Why these churches are dying, there are still living people in them. Most of the time, these people really aren't bad people or people you don't want to spend time with, they are just misguided. I can say that, I am a pastor.
Do you ever wander who these people were in their day, you know back before they were the "old" people of the church? I often wonder that myself about my own grandmother. Sometimes I think it would be nice to just sit down and really find out what her own personal struggles were when she was growing up. You see these people have stories too. They know what it was like to live a hard life, to work for a living...to work to live.
So what happened? Why are there so many churches that are filled with older people and have no young ones to keep the church alive. Again, misguidance. All to often, I think we get stuck in a rut. We forget what our purpose is. We forget we are to look like Christ, not just follow a bunch of rules.
I don't see Christ as a rule follower. How many times did he break the rules of the day just to do the right thing. I mean sure he followed God's rules, but man's rules could be broken if they went against what he believed to be right.
So what rules have we been guided to follow that get in our way of sharing the gospel with others. Have the rules replaced your Gospel? I know I have caught myself looking at what I believe as only a set of rules and not really taking in what I say I believe.
I say all of this because I want to challenge you to evaluate what it is you are showing others when you show them Christ. Are you showing them a rut in the ground to later help them become part of a dying church, or are you showing them a life that is renewed and ever changing.Yes, Grandma, God is the same, yesterday, and forever, but we are not. If we are growing in him, we will not be the same day to day. I church will never be the same as it was. (Hopefully if we are growing in him, our church is growing in him as well)
So what does this mean? It means we need to breathe life back into the heart and soul of our churches. Show them what it means to be the church, not just attend a church. How do we do that? Well...that is another post altogether.