Saturday, August 12, 2006

A Dead Church?

…but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
(John 12:24)

There has always been a lot of talk by people about leaving, visiting, or experiencing a so-called “dead” church. To most, I suppose what they mean by “dead church” would be that it was cold and formal. When people say it’s a dead church they mean that it feels dead. This could be true, and as the venerable Jonathan Edwards said, you have to have both heat and light.

However, lets consider the other side, because I have seen just as many churches that are just as dead and yet have a whole lot of buzz about them. You know, they even have a buzz conference these days. They may have a lot of hype but no holiness, a lot of passion, but no power. So to me a dead church can look like a really lively one, for sure.

Today we have the church of the upwardly mobile, the church where everybody is somebody, the church where you can become the best you that you can be, and we even have a laughing church or two out there. We have the liberated church, the empowered church, the militant church, and the dead churches. I would put all of the above in the last category.

Today what we need is for people to be on fire for the gospel, but what we see are just more and more programs, promotions, politics, and purpose. We may have passion, but we don’t have any real power, because we lack purity (fuel): where there is no fuel the fire dies out. Flash fires, flash paper, and the flash in the pan all fade. Soon enough a fire that doesn't have real fuel dies out, and often gets replaced by a false fire built on feelings, fellowship, or flurry. People try and live off the fumes of a faded fire, and that, friends, is a dead church. Too many preachers in the pulpit and people in the pews are confusing anointing with adrenaline, and the busyness of man with the business of God.

It’s good to be active, and organized, and lively, but it’s a must to be alive!

Do you want to know what an alive church is?

A church that is alive is a church where people are dying!

Dying to self that is…


Jonathan Moorhead said...

I love that! - "A church that is alive is a church where people are dying!"

Daniel said...

Jonathan stole my words.

Even So... said...

I wonder if I should put up on our marquis, "Come here if you want to die - to self"?

Betcha I'd get in some real trouble if I left out the "to self" part...