When You Sense Your Church Is Dying
- Friday, April 12, 2013
Fourth, seeks ways to give sacrificially. One unkind act that comes with a godly façade is that if something is not going the way I think it ought to go at church, then I should withhold my giving in protest. The thought behind this act is that when others and I drain the church of financial resources, we can stop the direction of the ministry. It is couched in sayings like, “God doesn’t want me to give to support that,” or “I’ll just designate my giving to support missions.”
Holy as these ideas may sound, withholding giving is sign of selfishness, of a lack of fear of the God to whom we are giving, and a desire for control. Certainly the church will expire without ample resources to continue in the work. A better approach would be to give sacrificially— to give more than you normally give—in order to help the church sustain its works during hard times. With sacrificial giving the Lord is pleased, and he can pour out mercy on your church from his riches in heaven.
Fifth, avoid grumbling at all costs: “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door” (James 5:9). The Lord hates grumbling (Exodus 16:7; Numbers 14:27; 1 Corinthians 1:10). By focusing on perceived wrongs rather than the faithfulness of the Lord, grumbling kills any excitement, passion, and hope in the Lord and his church.
All grumbling is against the Lord, who is the head of his church. A goodly course would avoid corrupt speech, looking for edifying words of grace (Ephesians 4:29).
Sixth, pray for a Spirit-wrought revival. Only God’s Spirit can bring the life of the gospel back into the church. Only the Spirit can revive hearts to produce endurance, selflessness, sacrificial living, and gracious speech. Therefore, make prayer the strong practice of a dying church. Gather with members to weekly to ask the Lord to rescue his church and use her to reach the nations with the gospel for his glory.
Eric C. Redmond is Executive Pastoral Assistant and Bible Professor in Residence at new canaan baptist church in Washington, DC. He blogs at “a man from issachar.”Follow Eric on Twitter @ericcredmond.
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