It is clear that many church buildings have closed or have significantly shrunk in dimension since Covid-19. Causes vary from “church-goers are nonetheless scared to return,” to “they like watching reside feeds.” However why have daring church buildings skilled great development? This difficulty is way deeper—it is crystal clear that individuals are hungry for the reality.
As a church in California positioned in Los Angeles County, I perceive the large challenges of pastoring in these dire instances. However, if the reality be instructed, the Covid disaster merely revealed the muse of many church buildings, in addition to the center of many pastors. However thank God, there’s hope!
Pastors, I am scripting this to you to encourage you to be daring as you lead your congregation by way of these troublesome and difficult instances. However this boldness will not come naturally, it’ll come supernaturally. It’s going to have a value: “Life-giving preaching prices the preacher a lot—dying to self, crucifixion to the world, and the travail of his personal soul. Crucified preaching solely may give life. Crucified preaching can come solely from a crucified man” (E.M. Bounds).
As I used to be engaged on my latest article, A Measure of Revival in Our Bondage, the thought got here to me to tailor it to pastors and Christian leaders and to re-release it with that theme in thoughts. Listed below are among the factors:
The Fireplace of the Spirit is Contagious
On October 25, 2021, we started having church each night time at 6 pm for 2 straight weeks. At instances, the ambiance was overwhelming–a full altar, dozens of baptisms, the demonic realm being crushed and numerous lives modified, each in individual and thru livestream. Because the old-timers used to say, “God heard our cries and confirmed up!” The important thing verse for us was Isaiah 64:1, “Oh, that You’d rend the heavens! That You’d come down! That the mountains would possibly shake at Your presence.” (You possibly can view the companies here.)
Talking boldly is not optionally available, it is important. That is the lacking ingredient in the present day. God is not any respecter of individuals, standing, or achievement, however He’s a respecter of ideas (Acts 10:34). Should you search Him with all of your coronary heart you will see that Him. Then you can be higher outfitted to guide your congregation to the Fountain of Residing Water when you your self have drunk deeply. The hearth of the Spirit is contagious.
This doesn’t suggest that your church will develop; it might shrink, but it surely does imply that you’re going to now have the facility of the Spirit resting upon your life. Church buildings crammed with the Spirit do the works of the Spirit. Jesus stated that “whoever believes in Me will do the works I’ve been doing, and they’re going to do even better issues than these, as a result of I’m going to the Father” (John 14:12 NIV). In case your church would not appear to be the New Testomony church, are you positive that you just’re actually “having church”?
Lifeless is for a Graveyard, not a Church
The Christian life is to be dwelling and vibrant, not dry and useless. It begs the query: “The place are the rivers of dwelling water that Jesus spoke about in John 7:38?” Relating to experiencing a non secular awakening (revival), it might’t be labored up, it should be introduced down from heaven.
In Lev. 9:23-24, the glory of the Lord appeared to all of the folks and the hearth got here down and consumed the burnt providing. God introduced down the hearth, however the accountability fell on the leaders to maintain the hearth burning. They had been to take away the waste however not the gasoline. The identical holds true for you and me. We should take away the waste of delight and add the gasoline of humility.
Ignite your church with prayer conferences and worship nights. Humble your self and cleared the path and discover consolation on the altar as you cry out to God for boldness. The 2-week occasion described above was over a decade within the making as we endured in searching for the center of God. He actually is a “rewarder of those that diligently search Him” (Heb. 11:6). When God chooses to provide us a measure of revival in our bondage, worship, humility, and obedience is the gasoline that retains the flame going.
The Great thing about Brokenness
The great thing about brokenness is that humility crushes delight and ushers within the presence of God. Moses spent years on the bottom of the desert as God broke and ready him. Joshua’s humility little question got here from lingering within the presence of the Lord. Isaiah was fully damaged when he cried, “Woe to me! … I’m ruined! …. my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5). Jeremiah collapsed and cried out for humility within the folks, “My soul will weep in secret in your delight” (Jeremiah 13:17).
The Psalms are saturated with the brokenness of David, and Jesus’ disciples needed to be crushed like olives so the anointing oil might move. Paul needed to be knocked to the bottom and his eyes blinded by the glory of God earlier than true humility grew to become a mark of his ministry.
Do you sound like a voice “crying within the wilderness” since you’ve been touched by God, or a voice whining within the wilderness since you’re dying spiritually? You possibly can change that in the present day.
We Present the Sacrifice, He Offers the Fireplace
Once you lose intimacy with God, you lose boldness and the Spirit’s hearth. Return to Him, and He’ll return to you (Zechariah 1:3). The energy of your church is in its purity and non secular energy, not in its numbers. God would not want a majority—He is the Majority. We aren’t CEOs working a enterprise, we’re watchmen warning a nation. Prayer can not be a footnote on the finish of a sermon; as an alternative, prayer and worship should information the church in these essential instances.
How will you obtain a measure of revival in these dire instances if there is no such thing as a desperation? God cannot pour into your coronary heart if it is already filled with self: Self-willed. Self-sufficient. Self-made. Self should die in you earlier than God can actually reside inside you.
The best hindrance to revival is inside your individual coronary heart. It is time to break up your fallow floor and search the Lord whereas He nonetheless could also be discovered (cf. Hosea 10:12). Once more, though we will not work revival up, God can deliver it down from heaven if we put together the soil of our hearts. We offer the sacrifice–He supplies the hearth.
Pay attention here to the sermon, A Measure of Revival in Our Bondage.
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California, simply North of Los Angeles. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be discovered at shaneidleman.com or wcfav.org. Observe him on Fb at: facebook.com/confusedchurch.