Church as we know it in the West isn’t working; I don’t mean people don’t enjoy themselves (as that seems to be the main directive), some do. What I am talking about is our prime directive to go into all the world and make disciples, our current understanding of church is most certainly failing in this respect. It was this understanding that caused me to make such a radical shift of direction in my life. Whilst I really don’t have all the answers I feel I am closer to what Jesus had in mind when He said ‘church’ than when I ‘pastoring’.
Myth – “an unproved or false collective belief that is used to justify a social institution.” Dictionary.com
John Maxwell (who told me that he is my friend) says that “everything rises and falls on leadership”, and you know what? He is absolutely right. Everything from our schools to our homes, from our businesses to our sports teams need to be led – The thing is what should church leadership really look like. Does the Bible give any clues, should we be like a corporation or is that the very opposite of what the Jesus had in mind? Read more
We have all heard it again and again, following Jesus is a relationship and not a religion – To this I say a hearty “amen”. The thing is how does this pan out in our daily living, do we ‘follow Jesus in the way’ or ‘visit Him on a Sunday’? Ironically, the very thing that advertises as being a help can actually be very detrimental to following after the Lord Jesus; I am of course talking about church. Read more
When the kids get sick, you lose your job, someone you love dies, your house gets flooded or whatever, it is absolutely vital that you understand that these have no bearing on how God feels about you. Let’s ask ourselves a question, was Jesus’ sufferings a sign that God was displeased with Him because He fell short in His performance? Did Paul suffer more before or after He chose to follow Jesus? I am not saying that all life is supposed to be bad and that we shouldn’t do our best, but I am saying a challenge free, pain free, get my own way all the time utopia in this life is nothing more than a flesh inspired, childish pipe dream.
In so many places today God is seen as a means to get the comfy life we desire, many agree to His commands as a way to live a better life. The problem with this is that we take God’s call to holiness and reduce it to a formula for success; the irony being of course that because of this we often become total spiritual failures. This is however a very tricky line to walk because without doubt God answers our prayers, He blesses us with provision, healing and all kinds of marvellous works but these do not guarantee us the Hollywood Celebrity Lifestyle we so often crave.
Before we start let me say something about myself: I am a born again, Spirit filled, blood washed, Bible believing, Jesus following, Devil resisting, child of the living God. By His grace I have been sanctified, justified, liberated, adopted, proposed to and I am waiting for the appearing of Jesus and the resurrection of my body to be like His glorious body. My point? I am a believer, a Jesus follower; I don’t think I am backslidden or have grown cold (no more than before anyway) and I truly believe that Jesus is the answer to mankind’s terminal sin.
Why say all that? Because of my views on what the church is you could be tempted to think that I have been shipwrecked or have lost the faith; these couldn’t be further from the truth. Jesus is alive! His kingdom is among us, if you are a believer His Spirit is in you and you have been delivered from the wrath of God that is to come. We have some very good news to share.