As I was looking over our list of pastors and churches in the area I serve, I felt overwhelmed with concern. There are so many serious issues in each of our churches. Yet I also felt an overwhelming presence of God’s Holy Spirit, bringing calmness and reassurance.
I rediscovered tonight that the problems we all face in our churches can be overwhelming but the God we serve is still very much in control.
My opportunity is to pray for you and trust that God is in control. I especially pray that you too feel that same sense of trust in the God who called you to the ministry. May you feel the reassurance that can only come from God’s Holy Spirit.
All I know is that when I pray and trust that God is in control… stuff happens.
We have troubles all around us but we are not defeated. We do not know what to do but we do not give up the hope of living — We are hurt sometimes, but we are not destroyed. – 2 Cor. 4:8-9
For some of you, the journey has been long. Very long and stormy. In no way do I wish to minimize the difficulties that you have had to face along the way. Some of you have shouldered burdens that few of us could ever carry You have bid farewell to life-long partners. You have been robbed of life-long dreams. You have been given bodies that can’t sustain your spirit. You have spouses who can’t tolerate your faith. You have bills that outnumber the paychecks and challenges that outweigh the strength.
And you are tired.
It’s hard for you to see the city in the midst of the storms. The desire to pull over to the side of the road and get out entices you. You want to go on but some days the road seems so long —
Let me encourage you… God never said that the journey would be easy but he did say the arrival would be worthwhile. – Max Lucado
15 Signs Your Church Is in Trouble by Perry Noble
I ran across this recently and thought it might give you something to both celebrate and pray over.
- When excuses are made about the way things are instead of embracing a willingness to roll up the sleeves and fix the problem.
- When the church becomes content with merely receiving people who come rather than actually going out and finding them… in other words, they lose their passion for evangelism.
- The focus is to build a great church (complete with pastor’s picture on everything) and not the kingdom of God.
- The leadership begins to settle for the natural rather than rely on the supernatural.
- The church begins to view success/failure in regards to how they are viewed in the church world rather than whether or not they are actually fulfilling the Great Commission.
- The leaders within the church cease to be coachable.
- There is a loss of a sense of urgency.
- Scripture isn’t central in every decision that is made.
- The church is reactive rather than proactive.
- The people in the church lose sight of the next generation and refuse to fund ministry simply because they don’t understand “those young people.”
- The goal of the church is to simply maintain the way things are … to not rock the boat and/or upset anyone.. especially the big givers.
- The church is no longer willing to take steps of faith because there is just too much to lose.
- The church simply doesn’t care about the obvious and immediate needs that exist in the community.
- The people learn how to depend on one person to minister to everyone rather than everyone embracing their role in the body of Christ, thus allowing the body to care for itself.
- When the leaders/staff refuse to go the extra mile in leading and serving because of how “inconvenient” doing so would be.