While I enjoy working outside in the yard, I confess I usually have no idea what I’m doing. I pick up little things here and there, but most of those come AFTER the fact – like that little fact about iris bulbs.
Without telling the long version of the story, suffice it to say that I recently decided to remove a 20-year old garden. At the front of it, were the iris bulbs. When Diana and I planted these, we did not realize that every 3-4 years, you should separate bulbs. As a result, the area was essentially a blanket of connected bulbs and roots so intertwined that it was nearly impossible to divide. And, like many things in life, that started my thinking and praying.
As I sought to make sense of the mess, I couldn’t help but ponder the Church.
Reflect back for a moment on your own church’s history. Do you know its roots? Do you know how it began – whether it was a few years ago or long before you were born? Do you know when it started growing? Do you know the signs of beauty that began to pop up here and there as God moved? Those are positive memories!
Do you also know a time when it became, perhaps a bit too overgrown? To be clear, I don’t mean that in an overly negative way. “Growth” is not in and of itself a bad thing. But there are bad types of growth. Many churches have continuously added program upon program. Nothing stopped. They just kept piling on more and more. Then, a decade or so later, they realized that not everything fit within the mission and vision of what God was calling them to do. They needed to do a bit of “separating”.
But then, the leaders learned that not everyone wanted to see that happen…
Even though the healthy thing to do – for even greater future beauty and growth – is to carefully work through things to sift and separate, there is resistance. Someone’s “special bulb” is not one they are willing to let go. Because of the meaning it had “back then”, it “must” stay. (This is the way we’ve always done it… plus I remember when…)
Think for a moment of those times in Scripture when Jesus said, “You have heard it said, but I say to you…” Jesus wasn’t calling people to a new Law but to a deeper understanding of faith. It went beyond the Law’s rules and regulations to a deeper understanding of a Savior filled with grace and truth. He was calling them to freedom from the Law’s ceremonial requirements and offering a relationship-based invitation to become new creations.
Now I have a request for you, our faithful supporters, team members, friends, and family. This is not the first time I’ve asked this and I’m sure that it will not be the last either.
WOULD YOU PLEASE PRAY INTENTIONALLY FOR THE MINISTRY?
The requests for information and events continue to come in. However, the registrations have stalled. We have received very specific date requests and confirmed the ability to meet those times. Nevertheless, we are still waiting for church leaders to make that last step and actually register. We need to see registrations!
When we are able to partner with a church, God continues to do great things through His servants. I have no doubt that we have great things in store as the Holy Spirit moves and we continue to walk in faith. But the walls of the enemy need to be broken down so we can press forward in the Light of Christ.
PLEASE CONTINUE YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT AS WE PURSUE GOD’S DIRECTION!