Summary: Rediscovering the purpose and practice of our faith
I remember when I was teenager going to a church right after I became a Christian and I remember it being like family. I remember this deep connection that everyone had. There was a close friendship between everyone. and we were constantly involved in each other’s lives and in the life of the community. Things started changing though. People starting becoming really busy and life kind of got in the way and we kind of became secluded. We began to live these very independent lives where we just kind of kept to ourselves. And then the church became a very inward focused organization. Just as the emphasis on education went up across our country, the same effect rippled across the face of the church. There was this emphasis of knowing the Bible-what does it say, what does it mean, and Bible study became the norm.
Well, over the past few years several churches have begun to notice that something was a bit off, something was missing. People, really. No one was showing up for church anymore. In fact, a lot of believers were beginning to leave the local church as well because they knew that the Church described in the Bible didn’t match up to the church they were attending. Something was off and something needed to change. The church needed to change and get back to the Biblical roots of its foundation.
For a lot of churches, the emphasis became on how to reach people. How can we get people back into church became the slogan for a lot of places and there was this push for marketing campaigns. The church basically and essentially tried to mimic pop culture in order to reach people. Well, in a way it worked. People did begin to start returning to church but not many remained in the church. Lots of people thought that church was okay for their kids because of the interactions and it laid out some morals for the kids but a lot of the parents were just like, well it’s not for me. VBS became a popular thing for the summer vacation among many churches and it involved a lot of parent activity, which was great. The churches saw some good things happen here and there. Some churches did well and some didn’t. They kept focusing on knowing the Word of God and marketing but still, things just weren’t adding up. The church in the New Testament still stood out as the exception. So for a lot of churches, they just began to make up excuses. They began to reason why God wasn’t moving in their midst-it was as if the movement of God was at a standstill. God was working in individual lives and building the church up-but year after year went by and still the seats remained empty.
The supernatural church of the New Testament became just that, a supernatural event. Could it happen here though? In the last few years, the churches in America have begun to understand that the supernatural element of the church was still available to them. God could move through the church-if and only if the church became what it was supposed to be. The church needed to get past the problems and focus on purpose. The church needed to move beyond the idea of the building and realize the people are the church.
The vision for any church must be centered on Christ-He alone is the leader, the pastor, the ruler. The vision for the church is to live in synch with the heartbeat of God, to echo the message, the life and the love of Christ. The church must love God, love others, serve and change the world. The church must be devoted to one another, honor one another, reach out to the lost, to connect the disconnected and to see those apart from God filled with the life He offers. The church is a community of believers, bound in service and united in love. The church must see and meets the needs of others in the name of Jesus. The church must seek the broken and the outcast and mend the broken world and heal the hurts of the community-all in the power of Jesus’ name.
God is calling us to go higher in Him, He is calling us to go deeper in Him and become more intimate with Him. God’s desire is that we become consumed by him and to be passionate, authentic followers of His son Jesus. God raises the level of expectation as we grow and develop spiritually. He wants us to get lost in him, he wants us to draw near to him and feel his heartbeat within our lives. God ultimately wants Jesus to become our DNA.
God wants us to to be His hands and his feet, to go wherever he leads us, to speak out in love and to stand up in faith. He wants us to be imitators of Christ, to be his ambassadors, to be his children, his daughters and his sons. God wants us to live in him and for him. he wants us to allow His son to live through us-to shine his light, to speak his truth, to be the church.