Monday, January 23, 2017

A Successful Harvest

Chuckle: “Many golfers prefer a golf cart to a caddy because the cart cannot count, criticize, or laugh.”
Quote: "The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires." --William Arthur Ward

Jesus said, "Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit of their harvest is people brought to eternal life." (John 4:35b-36 NLT).
Every believer, should want to reach people for Christ and bring them into fellowship with the church. But many churches are seeing both membership and attendance plateau or decline. We know it is God's will for Christ's church to grow both numerically and spiritually. Let's prayerfully think about being more effective "harvesters" together in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Nothing fails like success. This statement may sound strange; however, dwelling on past success can cause us to become complacent and depend on the methods that were successful in the past to reach people for Christ today. Some may say, "It worked for us for many years, and it will work now." This is not necessarily true. The world is rapidly changing and the people we are trying to reach are vastly different from those of the past. So, our past successes can cause us to fail today by depending upon outdated methods and traditions.
Nothing succeeds like failure. If your church is declining, it is failing, and such failures should alarm us and cause us to examine our hearts and become innovative in our approach to reaching and teaching people. It is God's plan that His church be a moving force in our communities and the world, and that people be drawn to Him by the love and ministry of God's people. We need to pray for His help in becoming more Spirit-led, innovative, and effective in our outreach. Our discontent with the status quo and concern for people should motivate us to change our approach to reaching them. If our current failures cause us to make changes, then our failures have become our motivation for success.
A sure way to fail today is trying to improve on yesterday's success. In years past the centers of social life in our agrarian society were the local schools and churches. If something was going on at either, people would come. Not so today. There are too many attractions competing with the church for people's attention and allegiance. People will still respond to the undiluted gospel message, but it must be packaged differently by Christians who think differently than in the past. It must be perceived as relevant to people's lives and provide a desirable alternative to the world’s agenda.
Sadly, it seems some Christians are content to sit on their hands, worship traditions, and watch as their congregations dwindle and die. God wants us to pray up, get up, get out, get going, and get people who need to know Christ. If we have the "want to," the Holy Spirit will empower us and God's Word will teach us the "how to." The gospel message must never change, but our methods of delivering that message must change.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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