4 JUL

2014

TODAY'S WORD FOR TODAY

Do You Want Your Church to Grow? (4)

‘The new wine is found in the cluster…’

Isaiah 65:8

The fourth, and perhaps the most frustrating challenge we face when it comes to church growth, is to involve them. Why is that? A message on a bulletin board outside a church gives us a clue. The top line says, ‘We care about you,’ and the line underneath reads: ‘Sundays. 10 am only.’ A cartoon by Erik Johnson puts it another way. At the top in big bold letters is a sign that reads: ‘The challenge of starting a men’s ministry.’ Standing directly under the sign is a group of bored-looking guys. To the right of the group is the pastor, who quips: ‘So far, the only thing we have in common is an aversion to singing, socialising and sharing.’ People can feel lost and lonely in a crowd, even if it’s in church. Sitting in a pew looking at the back of somebody’s head for an hour and a half doesn’t meet anyone’s emotional, relational, or spiritual needs. As a member of Christ’s body, the church, it’s your job to take the first step and initiate contact with those around you. Jesus went out of His way to love the fallen, the fraudulent and the faithless—people others wouldn’t have anything to do with. When someone comes into your church and finds Christ, your job has only begun. They are called to serve and you are called to show them how, when and where. ‘The new wine is found in the cluster…’ Wine speaks of joy. But you can’t get it out of a single grape; you’ve got to have a ‘cluster’. Are you getting the idea?

2 Cor 1-4, Luke 5:12-26, Ps 102:18-28                  , Pr 15:4-7

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