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Door's Closing

My college buddy Joel Davis posted the following video on his blog. Joel just resigned his church to take the plunge into God’s heart by planting a church. If your a church planter, I encourage you to visit Joel’s blog and encourage him for his gutsy step into the unknown.

The metro in DC says, “doors closing” right before it rips your arm off. That’s what THIS VIDEO says is happening to churches in W. Europe and beginning to happen in the US of A. I’ve done a some ministry in W.E. and have seen seen this first hand.

Here’s my question:

Should we be concerned about this?

Part of me says, “YES! the enemy is convincing a generation that the gospel is irrelevant” but another part of me says “No” and is reminded that the church, now and forever, belongs to Jesus. He has not left her nor has He stopped drawing his children.

One guy I read on this subject said, “This assumption seems at odds with biblical teaching that demands of us faithfulness and that recognizes God as the source of any increase. Is it not possible that God sometimes is pleased to remove His truth from a block, neighborhood, or city? Is it not possible that God sometimes is glorified by the closing of a local church? It is unhealthy to create in church leaders the expectation that they can, simply by making a few changes, ensure that their local church will rebound.”

I am sturred by statistics and the Christ rejecting culture that abounds around me but I am infinitely more sturred by the Lordship of Christ in all things. I desperately long for Christ to be glorified in every place. But Given Jesus’ propensity to work in backward and unexplained ways I wonder what He is up to.

Should I continue to plant churches because we are loosing the fight or I belong to Jesus and he tells me to? Maybe it’s both… What do you think?

Comments(7)

  1. Reply
    pascott82 says

    Brother, I understand your thought process. However recalling words of scripture, Christ said that it is finished. Are we really loosing the fight. Every time that God is glorified He wins. Every time that the Gospel is shared either a seed is planted and/or God does a work in us. I say, keep on keeping on because Christ has won and we are commanded to keep on keeping on in that hope.

  2. Reply
    Joel says

    Thanks for the mention-very kind! I need all the help I can get right now! I’ve never been more excited though! HHMM interesting question. Is it a ying yang or fatalism? Jesus said to go and make disciples of all nations. I also understand that Jesus said not to cast your pearls before the swine too many times. Rom. 9 says that God blinded a great deal of the jews but left a remnant. They were blinded because they rejected Christ, but God planned it for the salvation of the Gentiles. ahahahahahah-I’m not getting into this one. The Bible commands us to preach the gospel to all creatures. Jesus lays out a pretty convicing argument for a healthy and vibrant local church. For the work of the ministry. (Eph.) The Thesalonians spread their faith abroad! God wants the Gospel to be spread!!!!! He empowers the local church and commands us not to quinch the Spirit.

    Would God disperse an assembly that didn’t obey Him? Yes! Did Jesus tell us not to waste our time with those that rejected Him? Yes! We’re commanded to plant and water and leave the increase to God.

    We can only plant and water in the most effective way that we can! Paul was all things to all people-he even used pagan culture to witness to pagans. William Carry didn’t see much fruit-he planted. Others watered, and God brought an increase.

    Souls saved is God’s work. It’s our part to spread the Gospel (Rom. 10) I’m not sure that there’s anyway to know when God has decided for us to move on. Paul saw doors open and close. If you have a chance to spread the Gospel there’s your door!

    Who knows? What do you think?

  3. Reply
    clintclifton says

    I Love you Dad

  4. Reply
    Joel says

    Thank you for even reading the above post-I think I was lacking my daily dose of caffeine or something-Who knows? What do you think?

  5. Reply
    leftywill says

    Very thought provoking post and video. I have seen many churches decline in the last few years. I have also seen many chrisitan events, such as concerts, suffer because of a lack of attendance.

    As a leader in my local church I feel a heavy burden for reaching the community, and like it or not, attendance is the best way to find out if you are reaching it. It just seems like latley people arent intrested in church.

    Sometimes i feel like we have embraced modern society so much that we have alienated the Spirit of God from some of our less mature believers. I, for instance, know how to seek and find the presence of God. The guy that just came in might not and using all of these modern tools that we have will not help him.

    Solid, Godly, prayerful, responsible, generous, commited leaders will, though, because that is the very essence of a chirstian leader. We must look as much like Jesus as possible so that others can see Him even when they arent looking for Him.

    I’m not hating on technology and i am glad to have electric guitars and video sermons and a coffee bar at church, but if we thought that it would fix anything, we missed the point. We must keep raising up leaders that will take the Gospel of Christ to the streets….

    ……or else we will sit in our empty churches and wonder why people aren’t coming in the doors

  6. Reply
    David Tarkington says

    Great post Clint. Where we are, deep in the Bible belt, people never thought the culture would turn from churchianity (many church members, not all Christian) but it’s happening even in Orange Park, and I imagine Palatka too.

    Our challenge is to minister to the “old guard” and connect with those who want nothing to do with church. Being all things to all people while still being men and women of integrity.

    God continues to raise up individuals, like you and others who can see what is happening and address it. The Enemy wants us discouraged. No, I take that back. He wants us destroyed. The battle we’re in is real and serious. Perhaps we haven’t thought that way in a while. Maybe that’s why some churches are closing. They don’t see the battle.

    Just some thoughts during a busy Wednesday.

  7. Reply
    clintclifton says

    David,
    You actually bring out another connected point… Can the same local church effectively do both of these things? (that is reach lost people and minister to the “old guard”) – Ill answer it my way and see where it takes us…

    Yes, and isn’t this the job of the church fundamentally?

    A lot of young guys (church planters) have been taught that planting a church is a spiritual way to avoid the annoyances of being a pastor in an established church. So they left the established church (that won and discipled them) to create a new, better church.

    The job of a pastor is to convey the teachings of God to people. God’s primary message is “I SAVE SINNERS”. Ministering to the “Old Guard” has to include leading them to agree with God about the lost culture that surrounds them.

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