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Seeking Things Above

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (Col 3:1)

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Great Expectations

My vision and my desire is for a church where the members are constantly challenging themselves. Each day we should be asking ourselves, am I doing what God wants me to do? Am I willing to give it all away? Am I loving those around me, believers and unbelievers? How am I showing that love? Am I too comfortable with my life?

Is this vision a reasonable expectation for me to have for my church?

I know I don't live up to these expectations, at least consistently. I easily fall into a comfort zone and don't worry about the world around me and what I am supposed to do to impact it. However, I know this is the expectation God has for me because his Spirit is not satisfied within me while I'm comfortable. If this is God's expectation for our lives how can we as a church not have that expectation from our members which means having that expectation for ourselves?

Church leadership is failing the church if this is not the expectation for every Christian member of the church. Jesus is creating a great work in us. He's not done but we act like he's done all he can do until we die and get to heaven. If your church is not growing spiritually beyond a certain point the reason is probably that too many people in the pews are just fine where they are at and where the church is at (as long as the church provides enough activities).

The big church-wide events are great and important to reach out to the community and expose people to mission opportunities. However, we must raise the expectations with our members that Christian living does not revolve around particular church-wide events.

I have this expectation for myself and as I said, I often fail at it, but it is still an expectation. I also have the expectation that my church and my church pastors and church leaders have this expectation from me. If I am failing to challenge myself, I expect my church, in love and grace, to let me know. This expectation has to be clear from the top and pushed down so that every member feels a little uneasy whenever they feel too comfortable with their Christian walk. Are my expectations too high? I hope not.

The next question is, how do we challenge people if we don't know where they're at spiritually? One person's challenge might be to love and honor his wife while another's might be to join the mission field.

This is a tough challenge for any church once it reaches any significant size. I have a hard time imagining any church reaching it's full potential without small groups (see disciples), accountability partners (see Paul and Barnabas) and mentors (see Paul and Timothy or Titus) as a way to challenge and inspire its members to continue to run the good race.

God's word tells us that Jesus will draw all men to himself. This word draw means to drag and haul which sounds like we have to be drawn kicking and screaming. We hold on to our comfortable life with all we have. I pray God draws His church to himself.

Zemanta Pixie


Ron said...

I tried to write something 3 times last night but deleted them all. I guess I will try again this morning. :) I will be short and sweet this time, and just say this is something I will have to blog about as well once I get my site up.
I see myself as comfortable, compared to where I was 5-6 years ago, but to some other Christians I am around, I am " a bit overboard" when it comes to my beliefs and convictions". I tell my kids there are all kinds of Christians out there from totally backslidden to on fire for God. Anyway, thanks for the blog Tony, your thoughts are a great read.

Tony said...

Ron -

Thanks for coming by. Be sure to let me know where you site is once you have it started.


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