01 October 2012

The End or Just the Beginning?

Yesterday I concluded a five-part series of messages designed to challenge boldly our church to be the church it ought to be under the Lordship of Christ.  I last wrote in this blog on the day after the first of these messages, in which we experienced a tremendous response.  That response sent me to musing about revival (see previous post).  Now a month has passed since then and we have now concluded the series.  It was a good month.  The spirit within the congregation was good and on four of the five Sundays we saw people make commitments.  Most significantly, we saw three yesterday make professions of faith in Christ as their Savior.

Now, it's time to move on to what is next.  However, I have the feeling that what we just experienced was not a neatly packaged "revival" time with a starting and ending.  My prayer is that it was the beginning of a culture shift.  My hope is that God is beginning to move in the hearts of many about what this "church thing" is really all about. My expectation is that this is the beginning of an increasing movement toward overall better spiritual health.  There are many good evidences that this is happening.

I hope that we won't forget the five challenges set before us, because these are what ought to define what we are as a church.  These can continue to serve as a guide for our purpose as a church. Here are all five:
  1. to worship with passion
  2. to pray with conviction
  3. to grow (in God's Word) with intention
  4. to fellowship with determination
  5. to serve with compassion
I believe that it's still possible that what we are in the beginning of revival that will only continue to progress and intensify.  Our conception of revival is like a flash flood of enthusiasm.  But what if it can be a gentle rain that simply persists, resulting in real and significant change?  Again, time will tell and hindsight will let me better evaluate.  But in the meanwhile, I'm praising God for the good work I see in people's lives, and praying that He will break our hearts over sin and fill our hearts with love for Him and people and bend our prideful, stubborn wills to His.  I hope that in months or years ahead, I'll be able to look back and with confidence point to September 2012 as the beginning of a movement of God that brought dramatic change and growth to First Baptist Hazard. 


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