I love the local church.
There are no caveats to that statement. I love the local church.
I know. Church members can be difficult. Criticisms abound. Ministry is messy. Church leaders often wake up on Monday mornings and think about quitting.
But I still love the local church.
My Path of Love for the Local Church
I have dedicated the past three decades of my life trying to serve the local church. I have served as pastor of four churches, interim pastor of many more churches, dean of a seminary focused on the local church, president of a consulting firm dedicated to the local church, and now president of an organization providing resources to the churches.
Nearly all my 24 books were written to help the local church.
But I should do more. I really have not done enough.
My Desire to Help Local Churches in the Days Ahead
I am seeking God to find the best ways to do more. Indeed, I will be announcing more initiatives in the near future. I pray they will be done in God’s power, not some feeble attempt of my own.
In the meantime, I am continuing to study those churches that were in doldrums, decline, and despair that are now making an exciting gospel impact. What did God do in those churches to guide the turnaround? What can we learn from them? Are there common elements in revitalized churches?
One factor I can share with you at this point is simple but profound. In each of those churches, a group of leaders began to dream again. They began to dream about what God could do through them. They began to see God’s possibilities for impacting the community. They asked God how they could be a part of His dream and His vision for a revitalized church. They stopped looking at their own limitations and began to see God’s possibilities.
My Humble Request of You, the Reader
Here is where I ask for your help. Do you know of a church that has dreamed again? Can you share a brief story of how that took place?
Would you share with me how I can best help your church to dream again? I am moving in that direction, but I want to hear clearly from God and God’s people.
So I conclude this brief post with two requests:
- Please share any stories you have about churches that have dreamed again and, as a consequence, seen their ministries and impact revitalized.
- Please tell me how I can best help you and your church. Here would be a simple exercise. If you and I were to have coffee together for a few hours one morning, what would you want me to share?
You can respond to me via the comments on this post, or you can email my social media director: Jonathan.Howe@ThomRainer.com. I will read every comment and email and ultimately, respond to all of them.
Thank you for hearing my burden and my call. And thank you for being the great readers of this blog that you are. You have made this blog an incredible community.