"The nation right now is ripe for a renaissance in how we view God the Father. In how we view each other. About how we love - agape love. Turbulent times might be upon us soon. It is time to come home."
My wife and I have had this discussion many times. Early in our church life, we went to a church to be fed. Didn't volunteer to do much else in the early days, just sit in the back. I think my wife broke the ice when she became a Sunday School teacher for some very young kids. As as teacher, that was an easy give for her to make. I was next when I agreed to be the Treasurer of the church. That turned out to be a much bigger give than I had counted on. Anyhow, that is how we served, and learned, until our new house was built and we moved further north. We then joined a church closer to our new home.
Time went on, and we got involved in different lay ministries. Our kids grew older and became involved in a church closer to where they went to high school. After fifteen years at our new church, we decided to change again. And it was at that church, which was in the middle of very strong anointing, that we truly learned how important it was to feed, and being fed was not as important to us as we once thought it was.
What was important to us in attending a church? First and foremost, the preaching and the teaching had to be spot on God centered, and 100% Biblical. There is not room for error on that one. Next, the church needed to offer training on how to equip believers. Not just how to memorize the Bible - how to make the Bible come alive in people's lives. How to practice the Great Commission without turning people off. How to serve the least of us, both near and far. How to minster pastoral care when someone is sick, hurting or in need of prayer. How to lead others in small group settings. And most importantly, how to use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all of the above.
We were blessed as that church offered everything we needed. Guess what we have found since leaving that church which gave us so much training and equipping? There are no perfect churches out there which can fill all the buckets which you think need to be filled. But that is really okay. Once you equipped to serve and mentor others (and you will know it when you are), it is okay if your church is not all things to all missions. Take advantage of what he church offers, and what it does not, do on your own. That is why you are equipped.
Do on your own???? Like what??? Here is a good example. A few weeks ago we were visiting friends in Wisconsin. On a Monday morning, they asked us if we could like to join their weekly prayer group. It was totally ad hoc. They got together, prayed for the city, the police who protect them, our President, and anything else which was on people's hearts. It was a group of Christians from different denominations. It was awesome to say the least.
Why can't that happen all over? There are enough of us who have the training to make it happen. In fact - forget the training. To be a prayer warrior, only requires a heart for God and others. We can all do it. We can all pray for each other, the sick, the hungry, the hurting, and the unsaved.
The nation right now is ripe for a renaissance in how we view God the Father. In how we view each other. About love - agape love. Turbulent times might be upon us soon. It is time to come home. Time to feed others as well as being fed. Time to make peace with others and most importantly, our God.
Agape love teaches us there is nothing so good we can do that God will love us more and nothing so bad we can do where God will love us less. This really is the opportunity of eternity, and it is open to all. No religion required - just a relationship with Jesus. The rest will all work itself out.