Blockbuster Video and the Church – Conclusion

by: Larry Davies | Nov 1, 2010
“Crystal Cathedral Bankrupt!” Citing debts of more than $43 million the organization declares bankruptcy in a collapse blamed by some on its inability to keep up with the times. Sound familiar? This series started with an article about Blockbuster Video also slow to adapt. Have our churches been slow to adapt to a changing culture? Like the Crystal Cathedral and Blockbuster, have we responded with too little, too late?
Three problems stood out in letters sent to our ministry: 
·         We don’t communicate in modern terminology to those who struggle with belief in God.
·         We are not helping to connect those who feel disconnected from the church.
·         We appear self-centered and do not reflect the love of Christ in conversation and action.
At a retreat center, I experienced the timeless basics of our faith. We pray. We worship. We fellowship. We encourage. We grow. We witness. We serve.
The future of the church depends upon remembering, teaching and living out the basics of our faith while at the same time learning to communicate with those who feel disconnected using every tool at our disposal whether through music, Bible study, worship, email prayer networks or the social media. Most importantly, we do everything reflecting the love and grace of Jesus Christ in our conversation and action.
One letter suggested verses from Colossians to guide us: “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.” (Col. 3:12-15)
·         We are chosen by God to be holy people.
·         We must clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
·         We should make allowance for each other’s faults.
·         Remember the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others.
·         We should clothe ourselves with love which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
·         Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.
·         For as members of one body we are called to live in peace.
·         Always be Thankful.
How is this lived out?
“I went through a divorce and have just recently started to attend church again but I feel so much guilt and always feel like I don’t belong. So it was a big step to walk into your church. I was welcomed by everyone and I loved the service and teaching. I just wanted to thank you for creating such a warm and loving environment for people to open up to even hear the message, knowing that whatever level they’re coming in at is okay – they’ll be loved for who they are! I know with any organization that attitude comes from the top and is duplicated by the whole organization, which can be good or bad but yours is great!” – Jim
Here is a letter from a member of one church that needed to change:
“Your articles made me think about my church and our struggle. We are not immune to the challenges facing American congregations that you described. However, there is something missing from your checklist that I think our church addresses and that’s a corrective action block. Our church struggles as most all do but we are no longer lost in the struggle.”
“Recently, church leadership decided to change our course with a congregational study that pulled us all together and helped us better understand our purpose. On the surface it was another book to read with exercises to do but we did these things frequently together and we prayed. We prayed for each other and our church. Every gathering started with lighting a Christ candle to invoke His presence. That simple exercise carries forth today in almost every church meeting. It became the norm to ask for prayer requests in any church gathering. Prayer has changed us and our church.”
“When we intentionally chose to live differently, the channel was opened for divine encouragement. It’s hard to be different, to not take routes that are inherently more comfortable to follow. But we make better choices now because we turn to God for help. We may not always go to Him immediately but we get there. When there’s a need, we seem to meet it a bit faster and with more enthusiasm.” – Liz
Yes, times are changing — rapidly. Churches and business go bankrupt. But the basics of our faith never change: We pray. We worship. We fellowship. We encourage. We grow. We witness. We serve.
·         We are chosen by God to be holy people.
·         We must clothe ourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
·         We should make allowance for each other’s faults.
·         Remember the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others.
·         We should clothe ourselves with love which binds us all together in perfect harmony.
·         Let the peace that comes from Christ rule in our hearts.
·         For as members of one body we are called to live in peace.
·         Always be Thankful.
Then we trust in God for the rest.


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