My friend Tom Beckette is pastor at Nighbert Memorial UMC in Logan WV. In his sermon yesterday he compared the church to a power plant and inferred that we are the “power lines” that carry the power to our neighbors and to the world. It was a fitting metaphor considering that many in church and watching online have recently been without electric for an extended period.
We must keep the “lines” in good repair, through reading Scripture, prayer, fasting, and even heading back into the “power plant” (church).
When our own electric is on, it’s too tempting for us to go into our air-conditioned homes, turn on the television, microwave some popcorn, settle in on our sofa, and forget that others are without power. That’s what the church has done and that’s why the church in America is in decline. The church has been focused on itself and its own comfort and has been indifferent to those outside the church who are in need of the saving power of Jesus. We’ve been sitting in our own places leaving the lights on in rooms that nobody’s in and power is going to waste! There is a lost and hurting world who need Jesus and God’s plan was to send us to get The Power to them.
Yes, I know there are individual churches that are doing well, but even to think “our church is doing well” can be short sighted and selfish. I’m convinced that not only should churches be reaching the world, but we must help each other! The churches that are doing well need to be helping restore power to other churches that have lost power! While there are some churches that are happy having hospice care, there are plenty of others wanting to have power restored.
Ginghamsburg Church, a United Methodist Church just outside of Dayton, OH and their pastor Mike Slaughter have been taking other churches under their wing and helping them become relevant again. Putting the proverbial “paddles” on the dead church, yelling clear, and giving them a jolt. The body flies up off the table and the heart begins to beat again, in rhythm!!! Ginghamsburg could easily go out and start new churches, but how much better just to help bring the power back to an existing congregation.
Every challenging situation offers exciting opportunity. I hope you will be in prayer about how you can do something to make a difference to your church, other churches, other Christians, and/or a lost and dying world. Sometimes it only takes a spark to provide a jolt……clear…….