Last week, I took a course in church revitalization. As the name suggests, it was about restoring to life to churches that have lost their vitality. Over four days, four pastors shared lessons and insights they had learned in leading their churches through renewal. What was so refreshing was that none of them pointed to gimmicks or novel ideas. The course focused on the fundamentals but with clear strategies on how to grow in them. Whereas 20 years ago churches were talking about shorter sermons, skits, interpretive dance and avoiding words like sin or hell, today growing churches are focused on prayer, evangelism, discipleship and glorifying God. The conversation has changed – for the better! Let me share one of their stories.
In February, I attended the Work as Worship conference organized by RightNow Media. It was a one-day event with a dizzying line-up of world-renowned speakers. I’ve also been reading in this area in preparation for a new series I’m starting in June entitled, “Let God Transform your Career.” I’d like to share some of the things I learned from the conference, but I’d also like to ask for your help. Would you take a minute to answer five short questions to help me make the upcoming series as meaningful as possible? Click here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y88QLW5
Let me share with you some of the lessons I learned from the speakers.
What do you think about when you think about Easter? Many Canadians have traditions. Your traditions may involve eggs, chocolate and family get-togethers. Or your traditions may involve a more spiritual bent towards church and a reflection on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Regardless, I fear that millions of Canadians who attend church for Good Friday and Easter this weekend, won’t act Christian – even at church! Let me explain.
As we have been studying through the opening chapters of the book of 1 Samuel, Hannah’s relationship with her child Samuel has been front and centre. As she prepared to dedicate her child to God’s service, we saw that she must have been conscious each day that she was preparing her son to serve in the presence of God. Her example is a challenge to all parents to consider what their words, decisions and lifestyle communicate to their children about what is most important in life. As a Christian parent, the greatest desire should be to see your child trust in Christ. But how do you do that? And how do you know what is happening in your child’s faith?
One of Satan’s most successful strategies through the years has been to focus his energies not so much on making Christians deny the faith, but in convincing them that their faith is largely irrelevant. He loves for people to compartmentalize their faith so that Jesus is still Lord, while limiting His ‘area of expertise’ to some narrow fields of religion and morality. Whenever I have seen people come alive in their faith, it’s as they’ve seen how Jesus impacts all of their life: from family to finances to career and entertainment. When Alfonso began to live for God and see his skills as an auto mechanic as a gift from God, it revolutionized how he approached life.