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Past Updates

Dec 13, 2017
The Really Big Lesson

In the Mainline Christian Church, especially in the US and western Europe, there is little to no life left. I have been visiting congregations (as a consultant and as person seeking places to worship) for the last 15 years. I don't "belong" anywhere, and frankly don't want to "belong". And I'm not alone.

A few years ago I discovered the largest movement of Christians in the US were those who were leaving their denominations, preferring to stay home or go camping than to attend any established congregation. There are many reasons for this, but the fact remains...The people in the pews are getting older (heck, Im already mid 60's). The church is going to have a difficult time surviving the future.

However, in Asia, Africa, India, and other places around the world, the Holy Spirit is being poured on on all people. It is amazing to see. Meanwhile in the Western world, with secularism and compromised morals the Christian Church is in trouble, a slow but sure demise.

In my experience in Asia and India, I am seeing a strong wave of the Holy Spirit, touching lives and changing communities, even in places where Christianity is illegal, persecuted, and dangerous. Perhaps I should say the persecution is part of the reason the Way is growing in other parts of the world. Or perhaps it is because of something else...

This is my big lesson on my last trip.

I watched as people heard a basic, simple story of God's love. You know the story. It hasn't changed in 2018 years. But there were some things different in this situation:
No one was getting paid for this. No buildings to support.
It was a bit dangerous. Its illegal to change religions and Christianity is despised in these places.
The team was completely led by the Spirit, with no "schedule".

But the really big lesson was this.
This was not about winning an argument. This was about loving people, unconditionally loving them and sharing with them the wonderful news of God's great love in Jesus. Everything was about sharing God's love.
This was not about convincing anyone of the "facts" about Jesus. This was mostly about loving people and sharing the Good news. The church in the west has been mostly about the brain. In this new outpouring of God's love around the world it is mostly about the heart.
In most of the communities we would enter we would be led to someone who was ill or suffering physically. We would pray for them and they would immediately receive healing. I know, its hard to believe, but I saw this, we documented this. (ask me about it sometime.) After experiencing physical and/or emotional healing, these people would request to know more about Jesus, with many of them making the commitment to live for Jesus.
We did not come with superiority of words or attitudes. We can in love, willing to pray for people and allow the Holy Spirit to bring transformation to them. When people would get healed they would go and tell their friends and soon we had a crowd around us eager to receive prayer, healing and then hear about the God who loves them extravagantly.
We came with Love, God's love. Unconditional love. Free. For All. if you had a different attitude or approach, people would know it and walk away. I know, I saw it in me, and learned this lesson in a hard way.

The bottom line:
God so loved the world....
God didn't send a committee
God didn't have a fund raising team...
God didn't build a building.....
God didn't collect a pension or a salary
God simply, unconditionally, accepted and loved

God loves. Still does.
So we ought to love one another...