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THE LIFE OF THE EARLY CHURCH DIDN’T SPRING UP FROM THE BOTTOM UP, NOR FROM THE TOP DOWN. PAUL SCANLON WRITES OF MEETING A BAPTIST PASTOR WHO FOR TWENTY YEARS HAD BEEN IN MINISTRY AT THE SAME CHURCH. HE AND HIS WIFE HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN AND FINISHED UP VERY ILL ON MEDICATION. I WAS SPEAKING TO HIM AND SHOCKED TO HEAR HE WAS NOW A PUB LANDLORD. I ASKED HIM WHAT HAPPENED?


• “ I JUST GOT SO WORN OUT TRYING TO GET THE PEOPLE TO COMMIT, TO SERVE, TO GIVE AND TO GET BEHIND ANYTHING I SAID TO THEM.’ HE SAID, ‘WE GOT SO DISCOURAGED.’ HOWEVER HE MENTIONED THAT HE LOVED BEING A PUB LANDLORD. I ASKED HIM WHY? HE SAID ‘MY DRINKERS ARE DEVOTED ALL BY THEMSELVES. I’VE NEVER HAD TO SEND A FLYER OUT, REMINDING THEM TO COME BACK. I’VE NEVER HAD TO PHONE THEM UP TO SAY YOU WILL COME TONIGHT…. IN FACT I HAVE TO RING A BELL TO ACTUALLY GET THEM OUT OF THIS PUB. I NEVER SAW THAT IN THE 20 YEARS OF MY MINISTRY.

• TRUE DEVOTION TO CHURCH LIFE AND GROWTH WILL BE MANIFESTED IN THIS TYPE OF DEVOTION COLLECTIVLEY.

• THIS WHAT IT MEANS TO ALWAYS GIVE YOUR SELVES FULLY TO THE WORK OF THE LORD .

SOURCE PAUL SCANLON

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