Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A PIECE OF MY HEART...getting out of the house

3 weeks ago from today, my son had surgery. He has been home recuperating, but it has been a long road for him. For the past three weeks he has not been able to leave the house. He has been house-bound. He has not been able to do any physical activity which has left him alone and secluded from society.

The walls of this house...
  • keep him from his co-workers at his job;
  • the walls keep him from spending time with his girlfriend;
  • the walls keep him from attending church
He is imprisoned by the walls of our house. As I was thinking about this, I was thinking how many times, Christians, are also imprisoned within the walls of the church. When I speak of church...I mean church as in the building.

I attended a meeting recently and saw firsthand how some people are just happy with status quo. It is difficult for people to go outside their comfort box and try new things. Sometimes we are like my son in his recovery period and just stuck within our walls of our church building. We are comfortable with all that goes on behind the walls. Our circle of influence stops at the front doors of the sanctuary.

The mentality that "if" we open our church doors - "they will come" just doesn't cut it anymore! Recently, I read a George Barna poll. In his book, "Revolution", Barna reports that "church as most of us know it may shrink more than 50% in the next couple decades".

Did you grasp that number ... 50%!!

It is time that we take our ministry OUTSIDE the walls of the church. We can no longer sit comfortably in our pew, and hope that the lost and the hurting will walk thru the front door. I am ready to do something different, something radical to reach those that are lost, those that are searching for love and acceptance.

Don't get me wrong - I love the ministry within our church, I love to encourage my sisters in Christ, I love to place others needs before mine. Nothing excites me more than to see a "new" ministry rise up within the church and see needs being met.

But who is meeting the needs outside the walls of the church?

MATTHEW 28:19 "Go, therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."

Such a familiar passage for so many of us. But have you ever considered the "action" words here...GO and MAKE.

According to Barna's research, we are going to have to do something different. Maybe something radical. Maybe something unique to keep the doors open in our churches in the years to come.

"Don't change the message, maybe just the method!"

God's Word never changes. He spoke it. It was. It is. and It will be! FOREVER.

What are YOU willing to do to bring His Word to those outside the walls of your comfort zone?Something different? Something radical? Something out of the ordinary?

Let's labor to change that Barna poll percentage!

and that is a piece of my heart today;


Denise said...

Thanks for another great post.

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie, A Wonderful awakening! Great post with REAL insights needed for all churches!

There is a church in Florida (AG),
I thought it was yours at one time that has an outreach to women in the adult entertainment industry in letting them know that they are loved by God & their value. The woman is Jean Turner! Many reach
out to the women in shelters this way also. Some make trips to Women
Correctional Facilities, etc. If your women's ministry goes beyond its walls, there is no telling who they may encounter & show Jesus' love. I believe that's part of the intent of having"cell" groups in homes studying the Bible in our neighborhoods!

Blessings as you bless us with leading us from comfort zone to the war zone of ministry that overflows with Jesus' love!