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Posts Tagged ‘change’

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.  “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring [emphasis mine]

No one knows how long this pandemic is going to last and when we as a church shall be able to gather together again. But as Christians, our commission and commitment ultimately does not depend on our circumstances.  In this time of COVID-19, how are we “making the most of every opportunity”?  How are we spending our time?  Are we living our lives in anxiety or apathy?  Are our decisions marked more by fear than faith?

The COVID-19 is a big wakeup call for everyone, including Christians. This pandemic has reminded us in a big way just how uncertain life is.  What is our response as Christians? More than ever, we need to trust that God is in control, that He is our loving Father, and that we have an opportunity to pause during this season and reflect on what we truly hold to be most important in our lives. I am blessed that my wife and I had intentionally chosen to live simple lives, free from attachment to material possessions and the fleeting pleasures of this world.  We are truly content with the simple and modest lifestyle that we have. I am not saying this to boast, but to testify to the joys of living more simply and more sacrificially. It is a blessed freedom to live by faith and not by FOMO.

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Eph. 5:15-17; NIV)

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Are We Dying?

In his report, 10 Dangers of Denial in Dying Churches, Thom Rainer enumerates them as:

10 Dangers of Denial in Dying Churches
  1. The problems will only worsen.
  2. Future generations are forsaken.
  3. Leaders will have regrets.
  4. Churches will miss opportunities for solutions.
  5. There is no urgency for change.
  6. Maintenance ministries engender frustration and conflict.
  7. Churches in denial are usually disobedient.
  8. Many of these churches will tolerate open and flagrant sin.
  9. The church will lose its best members.
  10. Comfort becomes an idol.

Highlights:

  • If you don’t deal with the present, you won’t be a force for the future.
  • The way to move forward in a church is to be proactive, not reactive.
  • Successful change requires you to admit something is wrong and needs to be addressed.
  • A church in denial of dying is often disobedient to the Great Commission because they don’t see the need for living it out.

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Tear Down the Hierarchy

Exactly what I have been saying for a long time …

 

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Ever since the event of Sep 13, I have been very restless and have had to endure many sleepless nights. So, I have been doing a lot of reading, reflecting and writing (yes, and praying, though not as much as I should). As noted in my earlier post, I have tried to emphasize the need to be still and wait. That said, it doesn’t mean that we can’t reflect and dream.

Anyone who knows me, knows that writing is therapeutic for me. Therefore, it should not be surprising that I have spent a lot of time writing down some thoughts about the recent situation. One thing that came out of my reflections was a “60 Day Plan”, i.e., my own ideas about what I personally feel should take place in this season of transition. I don’t make any prescriptive claims about my so-called plan; they are just my ideas, nothing more, nothing less. It is my conception of one way forward.

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