Thursday, June 13, 2019: “A Call to Prayer”: Who’s Church is This? Regularly I interact with congregations who are struggling to figure out who owns the congregation with which they are connected.
The struggle is whether this congregation is “my church” or “God’s church.” When it is “my church” the congregation gives into the idea that they own the church and can do whatever they want with it. When it is “God’s church” they embrace the idea that this is not their church and they must unselfishly seek God’s will for the present and future vitality and vibrancy of their congregation.
This struggle is particularly acute when a congregation is in the Old Age stage of the congregational life cycle and they are willing to resist transition and change plus sell or abuse property and building assets to give themselves a few more years to be a gathered congregation.
They do not do routine and even essential maintenance on their facilities. They sell off property and other physical assets to buy for themselves another year or two. They believe a miracle will happen and new people will start attending, joining, and providing leadership for their congregation.
In the Columbia Metro Baptist Association there are almost a dozen congregations in this situation. At minimum everyone reading this post can pray for these congregations that they might listen for and hear the voice of God speaking to them. May their prayers be totally based on the fact that their church is God’s church and not their own. May they be open to allowing a new congregation, or the campus of another congregation, to adopt their facilities and provide a fresh witness to the people who live around their facilities.
This is your call to prayer. Will you join me in prayer for these congregations and the new thing God might do in and through them as it is God’s will for them?