Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Turnaround the New Year

A friend was visiting large churches in sothern California to find out how the college she was representing could better serve the church.  After the initial research was done and the staff of
a relatively large church was dismissed the senior minister made and interesting confession.  "We are growing but there is no real change in people's lives."  George Barna confesses that after 30 years of doing research on churches in America, "I had worked with a number of organizations and devout individuals who were just as excited as I was about making a difference in the world, and together we had played our respective roles in the ongoing cultural and spiritual battles with passion and intensity.
But nothing had changed....In my weaker moments, my assessment of the church in America was that it couldn't have found the path to victory if  Jesus Himself had been holding a neon road sign pointing the way." (Futurcast, Introduction)  Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."  Many times over the years I have heard this text quoted as an invitation to those outside the church to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  The context is clear, this is an invitation to the Church to repent and turn back to Jesus.  One of my mentors used to say the reason there is so little difference between the world today and the church is not because the world has become more holy.  I have always liked a little paraphrase of I Peter 4:4  "Are people surprised by the difference Jesus makes in your life, or are they surprised that he makes no difference at all."  Plato said, "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy is when men are afraid of the light."

How much difference would it have made if our founding fathers had said,  "All men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unaienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the persuit of what is right."  May this be our pursuit in 2012.

Yours and His,


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