Tag: church

Stop wallowing in the shallows

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Tiffany and my boys went to feed the giant koi carp fish in the large pond at the bottom of the garden.

Suddenly Tiffany’s voice interrupted my thoughts, ‘Simon, come quick, there’s a fish in trouble!’ I got up and rushed to the end of the garden and there, stranded in the mud, in a few inches of water, was a massive orange, black and silver carp, gasping for breath, fighting for life. Why it had swum into the shallow end I don’t know; perhaps it had followed some tasty morsel, or perhaps this was a favourite spot in the cool of the day. Whatever the reason, the heatwave and the low water table resulted in drying up the pond to half its usual depth and this noble fish, beached in the shallows, was dying. Trying to wriggle back towards deeper water, this fish only embedded itself in the mud, it was stuck, gills part submerged, for a slow death.

Tiffany and my boys stood appalled at this pathetic sight. I told the boys to quickly bring a dustbin lid and a watering can both of which we had used and were by the gite back door. They ran off and quickly returned with them. Joel poured water on the fish offering it momentary relief, and I stepped into the muddy pond, gently put both my hands under the huge but listless fish, and lifted it onto the dustbin lid. Joel constantly watering it, I carried it on the lid to the deeper end of the pond, where I lowered it back into the water. On the bank, Tiffany and the boys held their breath. The fish lay in the water momentarily motionless, and then suddenly it lunged to life and with a swipe of its tail and a swaggering flash of orange, black and grey, it turned and swam for the deep end. I climbed out, a hero, my family cheering.

Immediately as we headed back to the cottage, the Lord spoke to me.

“The church is like that carp: mature, distinguished, and impressive. But she has left the deep waters. And she is stuck in the mud and slowly suffocating. Momentary relief from the odd Spiritual, watering can of a renewal conference cannot save her. Her only hope is to get back to deep water.”

This was the revelation the Lord had told me in the morning he was going to give me. The church is out of the deep and in the shallows – the river has become a pond and the pond a puddle. And she is straining to breathe, fighting for life.

Simon Ponsonby

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From the book "Amazed by Jesus"

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Available on amazon.com*

Available on amazon.com.au*


Not going to a sports game

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A pastor wrote, Football in the fall. Basketball in the winter. Baseball in the spring and summer. This pastor has been an avid sports fan all his life. But I’ve had it! I quit this sports business once and for all. You can’t get me near one of those places again. Want to know why…

Every time I went, they asked me for money.

The people with whom I had to sit didn’t seem very friendly.

The seats were too hard and not at all comfortable.

I went to many games, but the coach never came to call on me.

The referee made a decision with which I could not agree.

I suspected that I was sitting with some hypocrites — they came

to see their friends and what others were wearing rather than to see the game.

Some games went into overtime, and I was late getting home.

The band played some numbers that I had never heard before.

It seems that the games are scheduled when I want to do other things.

I was taken to too many games by my parents when I was growing up.

I don’t want to take my children to any games, because I want

them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.

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From the book "The Hidden Power of Speaking in Tongues"

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Life

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A W TozerOne hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.

AW Tozer

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Missionless and or Churchless?

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George W Peters An unfortunate and abnormal historic development which has produced autonomous, missionless churches on the one hand and autonomous churchless missionary societies on the other hand.

George W Peters

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Dead Church

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A young, ambitious pastor was called to serve in a certain church.
He was warned by his predecessor that this congregation was “dead”..
It was not even worth trying to save it.

But this pastor accepted the call because he believed with God’s
guidance he could bring life to that church.
He was an optimist and he worked hard, visiting the members,
preaching his best sermons enthusiastically,
he tried to develop an outreach or lay visiting program so
that visits might be done in the homes of the active,
the inactive and new people moving
into town.

The harder he tried, the more he knew that his predecessor was right,
this was one seriously dead church.
It was a shrine for the frozen chosen.
A mausoleum of faith.

There was just nothing there.

The spark for ministry, the excitement sharing the gospel was just not there.

So one Sunday he made a startling announcement to the few who
were gathered for worship.

He said, “In as much as you are a dead congregation, unresponsive to
resuscitative efforts, unresponsive to any effort of pumping life into the workings
of the congregation, in as much as the vital signs of the congregation
are dead, I will conduct a funeral for this ’dead ’church next
Sunday morning at 10:00am.”

The members, at least the few who were there,
buzzed with excitement following the service.
One said, “What’s ’s he trying to pull anyway?”
Another said, “I don’t understand?”

The pastor and his announcement of a funeral for the church was the main talk
of the tiny rural town during that week
The phone lines were hot with talk, the coffee shop was filled with men
talking about what they expected next Sunday.

Sunday arrived, and as the people gathered,
there was an open coffin in the front of the church. As the 10:00 approached,
the pastor looked out and saw that every pew plus some chairs
were filled for this funeral service.

He began the funeral service by reading scripture, he shared prayer,
he even gave a very sad sermon on the demise of this over
100 year old church and congregation.

After he finished his sermon, he did something which again startled the membership.
He asked the members to please rise and pass slowly by the open coffin
to pay their last respects to this now dead church.

Row by row, the people rose and walked past the coffin.
And, each of them got the same sheepish, startled look as
They scurried quickly away from it.

The coffin was empty except for a mirror.

As each person peered into the coffin to view the deceased
each looked upon his or her own face.

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Website: http://www.sermoncentral.com/sermons/what-does-a-dead-church-look-like-john-nadasi-sermon-on-easter-resurrection-57718.asp

Satan stays active, keeping pace

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Satan stays active, keeping pace wth God, cunning aiming to spoil God’s work and to thwart His plans to do good for his people and bring praise to his name. So teh church must be at war with Satan, since Satan is always at war with it – with us who believe

J.I.Packer

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From the book "The Gospel: How the Church Portrays the Beauty of Christ (9Marks: Building Healthy Churches Book 5)"

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If you want to know

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If you want to know where your church is going, ask them these 4 questions What’s the testimony that you most want to see repeated? What’s the prophecy you most want to see fulfilled? What do you love? What are you afraid of?

Bill Johnson

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