PLI – Ministry Moments September 2017

PLI Ministry Moments

 

  • In Last month’s newsletter I started talking about how the Church is experiencing
    changes in the way people attend. People are looking at the Church in a different way than when we have in the past. Last month, I gave you two points from the
    article. This month I will give you two more points. I hope these are helpful to you. I have found them very helpful to me as I reach out to people with the love and care of God.
    The Gathered church is here to stay.
    If you read comments on blogs or listen to comments from conversations out and about you might think that some Christians believe the best thing to do is give up on Christian gatherings of any kind. This is naïve.
    While some will leave, it does not change the fact that the church has always gathered because the church is inherently communal. Additionally, what we can do gathered together far surpasses what we can do alone. Which is why there will always be an organized church of some form. So while our gatherings might shift and look different than they do today, Christians will always gather together to do more than we ever could on our own.
    Consumer Christianity will die and a more selfless discipleship will emerge. Consumer Christianity asks What can I get from God? It asks, What’s in it for me? That leads us to evaluate our church, our faith, our experience and each other according to our preferences and whims. In many respects, even many critics of the church who have left have
    done so under the pull of consumer Christianity because ’nothing’ meets their needs. All of this is argumentative to the Gospel, which calls us to die to ourselves-to lose ourselves for the sake of Christ. As the church reformats and represents, a more authentic, more selfless church will
    emerge. Sure, we will still have to make decisions about music, gathering times and even some distinctions about what we believe, but the tone will be different. When you’re no longer focused on yourself and your viewpoint, a new tone emerges.
    There are two more “predictions” from the article. Next month I will have two more “predictions”. I find them fascinating, and helpful as I think about how to reach people for Christ, with the love of Christ. Please read them and think about the changes the Church (our church) is experiencing. What can we do? What do we want to do? As we prepare for another immersion session in Florida, I am excited about learning new ways of loving God’s people, all God’s people. I have asked God to place people in my daily life to “be friends” with. He is answering and honoring that prayer.
    The other day I was out changing the sign in front of the church and a young woman stopped and started a conversation. She asked if I was the one to change the sign and I told her yes. She said she really appreciated the sign and the sayings. She told me she takes pictures of the sign and keeps them in an album, “they help me as I go through my day to smile, and think”.
    What a blessing that was for me, I sometimes wonder if
    the sign is ever read. We talked for a bit and I invited her to have tea with me sometime and she said she would love to. Not that it matters, but she is Muslim. I now have a new friend and we will have tea sometime soon, in front of our church. We will talk about signs, and sayings and her dog, and anything else that comes to mind on that day. It is amazing how God puts opportunities in our path.