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October 25, 2005

The Revolutionaries

George Barna is up to it again. He is surveying and asking questions and using statistics to help the church see where we are and where we may be headed. In a recent article posted online, Barna tells us that in "Relying upon national research conducted over the past several years, (he) profiles a group of more than 20 million adults throughout the nation labeled “revolutionaries.” He noted that although measures of traditional church participation in activities such as worship attendance, Sunday school, prayer, and Bible reading have remained relatively unchanged during the past twenty years, the Revolutionary faith movement is growing rapidly.

“These are people who are less interested in attending church than in being the church,” he explained. “We found that there is a significant distinction in the minds of many people between the local church – with a small ‘c’ – and the universal Church – with a capital ‘C’. Revolutionaries tend to be more focused on being the Church, capital C, whether they participate in a congregational church or not.” He projects that "by 2025 the local church will lose roughly half of its current “market share” and that alternative forms of faith experience and expression will pick up the slack."

Maybe we can turn this projection on its head by concentrating our energy on being the Church rather than the church. So what do you think about this?

Posted by Bishop at 11:53 PM | Comments (1)

October 18, 2005

End of Time

The recent rash of hurricanes, storms, and earthquakes, other natural disasters and wars and rumors of war have caused many to ponder whether or not this is a portent of the 2nd Coming of Christ. In fact, I am told though I have not heard any of the sermons that some pastors are actually preaching on this subject with this in mind.

I have decided sometime ago not to fret about the End of Time but to live so that whenever this occurs I will be ready. Jesus expressly says to us, "But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." And then after telling us about what the days preceding His coming shall be like he says, "Therefore you must also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour." It appears to me that the emphasis is on being ready and that the criteria for readiness are living faithfully and appropriately.

So the question is not, "Are these disasters portents of Jesus' coming?" The question is "How is your relationship with God and neighbor?" Another question would be, "Are you watching for Jesus' coming" or "Are you Walking Faithfully in anticipation of His return?" If you are doing the latter then even in the face of these tragedies your response is not panic and fear but trust and service. I do not fear His coming but work as if Jesus is already here.

Posted by Bishop at 05:55 PM | Comments (1)

October 07, 2005

Email Down

Our email has been down since Monday of this week and we are using snail mail and the trusty old fax to communicate with those whom we can. The speed and convenience of email has spoiled me. But, isn't this typical of people today. We are so dependent on moving at a rate of speed that our parents would consider a miracle. And yet we are guilty of taking these modern marvels for granted and missing the significance of the knowledge and wisdom God continues to give that make such inventions possible.

It reminds me of the old saying, "You don't miss your water until your well runs dry." In many ways we do the same with God's love and care for us. We so often take it for granted. But, today as I am missing the ability to send and receive email I pause to remind myself that God is faithful and that I need to take God's love, mercy, grace and care for granted.

Posted by Bishop at 11:43 AM | Comments (0)