For us to live on mission with God and allow Him to do His work through us means that we must be attentive to how 'we see life.' It will help if we can see the whole of life in the context of sowing and reaping... understanding the importance and implications of this Biblical principle in the context of everyday relationships.
When I think about that building, I laugh just to keep from crying. The boarded window spaces were only accentuated by the peeling paint on the outside, and mold was growing on the walls of the nursery inside. I distinctly remember arriving one Sunday morning to find that a raccoon urine had soaked through the dropped ceiling and formed a puddle directly on top of my hymnal.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a 1-day conference in Middle Tennessee at GVBC called 'Stuck.' This was not their first rodeo and you could tell. They knew how to encourage pastors and church ministry leaders. It was well-worth the 400 miles! Kudos to Pastor Locke, the staff, worship team, and the church ladies who took care of the eats! I feel compelled to pass on what I got out of the keynote session.
It is a sad commentary on Christianity that so many Christians stand opposed to their brothers and sisters in the faith. We have lost sight of the power God has given over our friends. We have allowed the world, flesh, and devil to keep our eyes focused on ourselves and we miss an opportunity to be a blessing.
There are a lot of things to debate and dissect in the Christian life today. There are multiple denominations, Bible versions and doctrines. Everyone from scholars and theologians to new Christians have different views and interpretations of Scripture.
I recently heard of an English Bishop compare the mission of the church to that of a museum: "I suppose... keeping alive aspects of the Christian heritage for those who are interested in that sort of thing..." Statistics seem to back him up: last year, 2.7m church members left, never to come back again. Every year in America 4,000 churches close their doors (while only 1,000 are planted). There are now half as many churches as there were a hundred years ago. Is this the church's last hurray? Will our generation witness the death of the church? A recent poll revealed that less than 9% of Americans have a Christian world view (believing that the Bible is accurate, in a literal hell / heaven, that salvation is only by grace). Does church really still work? The honest answer is yes and no. Some do and some don't. The difference: great churches are communities where the new covenant has united membership in a common grace and a common purpose. (Ephesians 2:14-22)