Written On Our Hearts

Screen Shot 2019-06-27 at 8.53.52 PM

There’s a lovely Hasidic story of a rabbi who always told his people that if they studied the Torah, it would put Scriptures on their hearts.

One of them asked, “Why on our hearts, and not in them?”

The rabbi answered, “Only God can put Scriptures inside. But reading sacred texts can put it on your hearts, and then when your hearts break, the holy words will fall inside.”

From Anne Lamott’s book,¬†Plan B

Why “How Can We Grow the Church?” Is the Wrong Question

Screen Shot 2019-06-26 at 4.17.37 PM“What do we have to do to grow the church?”

“How can we grow the church?”

These are probably one of the most frequently asked questions amongst church leaders. That’s because most congregations are growing older and declining. The growth of the church is literally a matter of life and death for most congregations.

However, these are absolutely the wrong questions for the church to ask.

Jesus doesn’t ask the church to grow. God doesn’t call the church to grow. This doesn’t mean growth isn’t important. Growth is vital. Without growth, churches die.

However, growth is the byproduct and the result of a congregation where God is at work. Growth isn’t the goal of the church. Growth is the byproduct of a church where God is at work.

“…and all the peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:3)

The question congregations ought to be asking is, “How can our church be a blessing to our neighbors?” “What do we need to do to be a blessing to our community?”

When God begins to bless the people in our community through our congregations, our congregations grow.

 

Lone Ranger Christianity?

Screenshot 2019-06-15 at 2.50.26 PM“I am a Christian. I just don’t go to church anymore.”

“I don’t have to go to church in a building to worship. I am closer to God when I am on the beach, the mountain trails, or in nature.”


“Saul, Saul. why do you persecute¬†me?

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (Acts 9:4-5).


Saul had never met Jesus. How could he have? By the time Saul was persecuting the church Jesus had already ascended to heaven and was no longer even on planet earth!

How could Saul be persecuting Jesus? Jesus wasn’t even around. And, besides, Saul was persecuting Christians and the church, not Jesus.


The church is the body of Christ. If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a part of the body of Christ – the church.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO BE A FOLLOWER OF JESUS AND NOT BE A PART OF HIS BODY, THE CHURCH.

No local expression of the church represents the whole of church. However, every local congregation is a local expression of the whole church.

No. No local congregation is perfect. Every local congregation is flawed because she is made up of flawed people.

But, Christ is present there. The local church is a legitimate and Christ-ordained expression of who we are supposed to be as the body of Christ.

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are a part of Christ’s body and community. It is impossible to do solo Christianity. There is no such thing.