Saturday, January 17, 2009

Birds and Vision

I have been connecting with some old friends lately. I am so thankful for the foundations that many sowed in my life. It is a little disconcerting to see so many lose their sense of mission and love for the Church. When I am in the presence of God I sense His heart and love for the Church. It is like I can hear all of heaven cheering for God's people. When I study God's Word, I see the passion and commitment of the early church to planting and reaching out. How is it that so many become so discouraged and disconnected? The platitudes we so often use don't answer the question for me. These are good people who love Jesus, yet seem to be defined by disillusionment versus vision. I am more convinced of the call to build up the Church now than I have ever been. I remember Jim Durkin Sr. who in my opinion was a great man of God to restore and energize a generation told a story. He said, "if you want to grow in the purpose and vision of God then you must feed it. It is like a bird that sits on your front porch. You feed it when you go out and come in, day after day, week after week, year after year. One day you go out on your porch and the bird has grown large and swallows you." That is the story of my life. My early years in ministry were always viewed through the lens of how I personally felt about MY ministry. As I have served Christ these last 30 years I see that most of the disillusionment that I have experienced is because of a wrong focus. I remember a quote from a dear friend, Rob Barnes, "the answer to bad leadership, is good leadership, not no leadership." The failures of the Church or leaders are just that, failures of people, me included. I'm convinced that it is the Lord's heart for us to be part of the solution. It takes no skill or commitment to identify problems, but it takes great faith to love God's people who gather together in what is called the church. It is my conviction that God loves the Church in all its local expressions. It is an over arching theme of the Scripture. I can only hope that many who have become discouraged will find a renewed love for the purposes of God and shed the bonds of personal discouragement.