Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Building a Church That Doesn't Suck (update)

Building a Church That Doesn't Suck...the life out of you. About two years ago I posted a blog with that title and shared what was in my heart at the start of this Turnaround Church effort at West Shore. That blog title and entry has brought the more traffic to my blog than any other through people googling phrases such as "church doesn't suck" and "church sucks" etc. I wanted to briefly give an update to that post...

I have now been blessed to be at West Shore Church (A/G) for 2 1/2 years. As we enter this third year of ministry together, I look around and I am blessed. The Lord has been speaking to me from Hosea 6:1-3 regarding year one, year two and now as we enter year three. I don't want this to sound like a commercial, but rather a praise report.

Year one was extremely difficult as much change was needed to turn the ship around. Year two we laid down biblical foundations as we met and loved on new people that came. As we enter year three, I look around and see a diverse church. People from all types of backgrounds and ethnicity. We have placed the focus upon the person of Jesus and His ministry. We have thrown our focus outward by starting ministries like Angelfood Ministries through which we are feeding people all over the region. Missions giving is up. And there is a wonderful lack of politics and all the nastiness that can sometimes creep into church life. As momentum picks up we are looking to sell our building and move somewhere we can flourish and continue with what Jesus is doing. We are still at the front end of this thing that God is doing and there is a lot more that must happen, but...

Can a church that has had a steady 10 year pattern of decline, embrace change and turn around? Yes it can.
Can Jesus heal a church from deep wounds and also empower them to reach out and minister?
Oh yes He can!
Are people still turning to Christ for healing and salvation as the nation's culture grows increasingly hostile toward the things of God?
Is the divide between the Church and the world too wide for the unchurched to cross?

When the stuff of "religion" is kicked to the curb and people in the church embrace Jesus, then He is lifted up and draws all men to Himself.

Pray for us as we continue this journey. We are by no means in a place where we can afford to be comfortable (and God forbid we should ever be!), there is a fragility when things are new. But we are confident! (Phil. 1:6)

This is the Church...the Body of Christ...the Bride, meant to be clothed with the glory of His Presence! Turn Around Church...He is faithful!!