What if I told you that two churches were 17 miles apart? If we held a meeting between those two churches, it would take roughly 15-20 minutes to go from one to the other, right?
If you drove, it would take 343 miles to make the commute. These two churches, located in Alaska, are best traveled to by water or air.
For me, that is a pretty solid illustration of a dilemma we often see in churches. Two people, sitting only a few pews apart, are radically separated by other obstacles. One of those may be a pain from years past. Another might be a perceived slight from only a week ago. Yet one more is due only to a passing glance – received as something greater. And then they both wonder why the church is stuck and their own spiritual growth is lacking…
How often is a “God-movement” RIGHT THERE and yet so far away?
The LRM team has been working to expand our connections with churches, pastors, and leaders around the country. We’ve begun to work cooperatively with an organization in Colorado that assists churches with communication and outreach. Our goal is simple: TO SERVE MORE CHURCHES! But there is a problem…
--- Complacency ---
I get it. I really do. I think a good (but not perfect) synonym for complacency is comfort. If it is hot, we seek to cool off. If it is cold, we seek warmth. If we are hungry, we seek food. If we are sad, we seek happiness. On and on it goes as we seek to move away from the negative to the positive. But…
The problem comes up when we seek to LIVE in the “comfort”. The problem comes up when we seek to exist where things are simple, and nice, and peaceful, and don’t cause any disturbance to our bubble. And that’s where comfort takes a horribly wretched turn into complacency.
Take my first example of the churches in Alaska. Imagine you love your car and it is your favorite way to travel. You like the seat warmer and the stereo system. It’s so nice to be in the familiar. (Because I drive more than 20,000 miles per year, I absolutely know what that is like!) However, if I want to go back and forth in one day, it wouldn’t make any sense to insist on driving, would it?
Does it make any sense to sit in anger and stare at the back of someone else’s head?
Does it make any sense to let a disagreement from years past to continue to choke out growth?
Does it make any sense to lose a Biblically-solid and compassionate pastor because you like your pew?
So, here’s my point. For 65 years, LRM has been serving churches in the Process of Renewal. We have been seeking to partner in ministry as men and women are renewed through the Power of the Holy Spirit to not only receive the gift of grace but to then go forward and serve as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. We’re not stopping!
As I was in Oklahoma last month, I spoke with pastors and leaders to encourage them to truly seek renewal. As I went to North Carolina next, I did the same thing with a local church family. We had team members – faithful responding servants from CA, NJ, NC, OH, PA, SC, and GA – likewise making that challenge to seek more of the Abundant Life Jesus offers.
--- Complacency is NOT an option! ---
The reality of walking with Christ is simple. Believe in faith. Live in faith. Don’t let the little (or seemingly big) things distract. Just press forward and let the Holy Spirit work through you.
Yours in Christ,