Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Year in Review

Barna Research Group - Year in Review Perspective - 2009

"Our studies this year among pastors showed that almost nine out of ten senior pastors of Protestant churches asserted that spiritual immaturity is one of the most serious problems facing the Church. Yet relatively few of those pastors believe that such immaturity is reflected in their church. Few pastors have gone so far as to give their congregants a specific, written statement of how they define spiritual maturity, how it might be measured, the strategy for facilitating such maturity, or what scriptural passages are most helpful in describing and fostering maturity. Those pastors who made any attempt to measure maturity were more likely to gauge depth on the basis of participation in programs than to evaluate people's spiritual understanding or any type of transformational fruit in their lives. Overall, less than one out of every ten pastors said they were completely satisfied with how they assess the spiritual condition of their congregation... our research found that a majority of church going adults are uncertain as to what their church would define as a 'healthy, spiritually mature follower of Christ and they were no more likely to have personally developed a clear notion of such a life."

"Houston, we have a problem!!!!"

This is a problem named, that I care deeply about. I watch. I wait. I pray. God has given me a few ways to engage with others who share my hopes. I'm grateful for this. I have no idea where this will lead me. But I do know that where ever it leads, it will not be easy.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I hope...

people can't measure
miracle worker
unfailingly loving
everlasting kingdom
promise keeper
helps the fallen
lifts the load
need provider
grants desires
he hears
he rescues
destroys wicked

All of these in one song written by David. If these words in this Psalm are believed, I don't see how you could avoid being a worshiper of God. These descriptors questioned, believed and spoken or sung have the power to change a life. Because behind these words is the reality of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Along with describing God this song describes people. Here are some of the descriptors of those who respond in faith:

exult God
praise God's name forever
the generations tell
meditation happens
stories of God are told
songs are sung
glorious Kingdom of God described
God's mightiness is spoken about
God is seen with hopeful eyes
He is called

At the end David says: "I will praise the Lord, and may everyone on earth bless his holy name forever and ever."

I can relate to David's desire. Worshiping God freely, passionately, with faith that every word can be believed even when my circumstances make them a challenge to believe has changed me.

When I see people holding back, I have compassion for them. I don't mean physically holding back. I mean holding their hearts back. I long for them to let go and believe.

I don't know what God is up to with this invitation to worship Him for 30 days straight at my church. But I hope that trusting God will be a whole lot easier for those who participate. I hope they will tell their stories. I hope...

Psalm 145