Thursday, December 6, 2007

starting over

The book "The Passionate Church" tells the story about a huge town in New Zealand which was devastated,..leveled actually, by an earthquake in the 1930's. The homes, businesses, churches were reduced to dust and rubble. Nothing left. Even the landscape and terrain changed, with rivers re-routed and mountains formed where there once had been flat land.
The city leaders began to consider the re-building of their city but there were no longer landmarks which held familiarity. Eventually, using a simple compass to point the way, they built a city which was better than the one which had been lost.

I wonder what would happen if we did that to our churches and programs? Just throw out everything and start over.
What ministries would we keep and improve?
What would we gladly never do again?
Why do we do the things that we do?
Churches today are so busy, yet often so incredibly ineffective.

I am a member of a small church that has been in chaos for a few years. I am sort of feeling like that city in New Zealand. I don't even recognize us any more. It is easy for me to get discouraged and think "We are in terrible trouble!" However, if we were a large church, with lots of staff and active members, it would be diffucult to re-invent ourselves.

God promises that all things work together to bring good to those of us who love Him. I am greatly encouraged by the direction of mine, and many of my brothers and sisters hearts. It is as if we are using "the compass" and not our old road maps.
Very scary.
Very exciting.

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