Monday, May 29, 2017

John 21:17
.....He (Jesus) said to him a third time, "Do you love me?" And he (Peter) said to Him, "Lord, you know all things. You know that I love You."

Conversation between Peter and Jesus after Jesus' resurrection.
Three times Jesus asks Peter if he loved Him.
First two times, Peter replies "yes"...
Third time, Peter simply says "You know all things."

There was a connection between what Peter said, and the actions that Jesus was calling him to. "If you love me, Peter....then do this!".
Love for Jesus always translates into kingdom work for the individual.
A "going out" if you will, to influence and share with others what God has done for them.

I am terrible at communication with others.
I am terrible at communication with others when they ask certain types of questions.

The one question that I fear the most is "How's your church doing?"
Well intentions from the one asking. They are curious about what going on with Vineyard ReCovery. But to me.....I don't know what to say. How do you respond to a question like that? My first inclination, when asked that question, is to respond, "It isn't my is His."

 Usually such questions as "How is your church doing?" is looking for an answer that is based on how many people do you have coming to your meeting. But is that a real measure of how the church is doing? Do numbers truly give us a clear picture of the health and well being of any church? I don't think so.

While listening to a teaching yesterday, the moderator commented on a George Barna pole that had been taken on "how do you measure whether your church is successful or not?" Here are the five things that pastor's use to measure whether their church is a success or a failure.

1.) How many people attend the services.
2.) How much money is taken up.
3.) How many programs you have available for those who attend
4.) How many are on staff
5.) How much square footage of space do you have

Not one mention about the character and heart of the people who are attending. I take John Wimber's view when it comes to measuring your church. "What is the quality of the people who attend?" Are they growing in Christ? Are they falling in love with Jesus more than when they first started attending your meeting?

I get it...
The more people you have coming to church, the more things you can do on a larger scale. But that can't be the only criteria used when deciding the quality and success of a church.

I was in a conversation yesterday with a young man who was trying to wrap his brain around the concept of a Vineyard church. The question came up about "what was our vision for the church?" Where did we see ourselves down the road, as far as where God was taking us as a group. I told him that I didn't know how to answer that. It wasn't that I didn't have an answer, I do. But my answer would not be what he needed to hear. So what is my vision for Vineyard ReCovery? To make it to next Saturday night so we can see what God wants to do...and then we can cooperate with Him.You see, my vision only extends out for one week. 

I wish I were a long range planner. I wish I could come  up with these sweeping vista's of where I thought we were headed as a church. But I can't. I can only see from Saturday to the next Saturday. I spend my week watching and praying "What do you want to do, Lord?" I spend my week studying and going over Scripture. Sometimes in the process, God will cause certain verses to catch my attention. When that happens, I always ask, "How does this apply to us, Lord?" If there is a connection with what God is working among us as a church, then I pursue it to see what message He might want us to hear.  

I guess we all want to be remembered for something we did or said after we die.
For me, I want to be remembered as someone who loved Jesus and was just crazy enough to "get out of the boat and try that walking on the water thing."
I want to spend ever how much time I have left, introducing others to my Jesus. I want them to know the truth about who He is and what He has promised He would do for those who came after Him. That's all....that's how I want Vineyard ReCovery to be remembered. "They loved Jesus....They loved those who didn't love Jesus...and they loved each other." If we can be remembered for that, I think maybe we turned out o.k.

God on you...

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