My wife and I are spending time with Alan, our younger son, who recently graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. We have been driving around various parts of New England with mixed feelings. The nice, big church buildings that we see all around are monuments to the series of spiritual revivals, known as the Great Awakening, that swept across this country in the 18th century. We feel so privileged to walk on the ground where God’s Spirit moved so powerfully to change a nation and its people. At the same time, however, we are grieving because many of these churches have either died or are dying. The picture above is a church building that has been converted into an apartment complex.
Erwin McManus, lead pastor of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles, California said:
This may seem strange, but the real tragedy is not that churches are dying but that churches have lost their reason to live! The purpose of the church cannot be to survive or even to thrive, but to serve. It is in serving that the church finds her strength. When the church refuses to serve the world, she begins to waste away.
Our Lord Jesus first said what McManus reiterates: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28).
I wish to see local churches become an unstoppable force for God-honoring transformation wherever they are planted. However, becoming such does not come from astounding church growth strategies. It results from being like our Lord. A servant.
Don’t lose your reason for living.