Why is it that in America, and the Western world, our churches are shrinking. People are no longer drawn into our churches, but why? Could it be that they no longer see our "message" as relevant? Is the "message" we are preaching, is it something that can affect their lives where they are? Even those of us who are "christians" are struggling inside the walls of the church, with our marriages, homes, children, etc. Could it be because we no longer are sharing the One thing that is truly what makes a difference?
The Gospel promise of new life is about a Person; it's about the One who lived and died and rose again for me and for you. Jesus lived and died so we could have life eternally with Him. He has also equpped us to live out the wonder of this relationship we have with Him, and His light in a dark world.
2 Cor 11:3 Paul said of the Corinthians, "I'm afraid that... your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ". Have we made this "gospel" so difficult, no one wants it because it no longer offers anything of worth? God help us.
Over the next several weeks, I'll continue to share thoughts from a wonderful study called "Relational Foundations: Experiencing Relevance in Life and Ministy". I first went through this book in a whirlwind retreat, and God has changed me. Now those of of who attended the original retreat are going to impart what we learned into our small congregation. My prayer for them, is the same as it was for us at the retreat, we have a purpose, a relevant message, to those who are lost and in darkness.
Lord, as it has been shared in Heb 12, "Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.... so that what cannot be shaken may remain." Shake me, shake our church, so that we can obtain clarity as to our purpose to bring those lost and alone back to You!