And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.(1 Samuel 4:21) KJV
We, me and the Holy spirit, have been working on this material since 1999. During this time, for whatever reason we’re not sure, we’ve been involved with a variety of churches which were in decline.
By “in decline” we mean churches where, at 50 years old, we’re the youngest person there for any service other than the 11 AM Sunday morning service. A pulpit is a frame of reference. The thing about a frame of reference (point of view) is that your perception of reality is defined by what you can see from where you’re standing. It’s been aptly described in many ways, but few as clearly as this:
Your focus determines your reality.– Qui Gon Jinn
When all you see are churches in decline it’s easy to think that The Church is in decline, but based on what we’ve seen since the last declining church kicked us out, there are lots of thriving churches. Young families with children are going to church in droves and not even COVID-19 can stop them. There’s a vibrant spirit and the people are looking for opportunities to serve God by serving their communities.
There’s a sentiment in declining churches that folk just wish Jesus would come back and put an end to all of this. They want to write ICHABOD over the door, lie down in a nice deep grave and wait for Jesus to return. The spirit in growing churches is of unstoppable optimism. They can’t wait for an opportunity to do more. They make their own opportunities.
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