Monthly Archives: March 2010

Why I’m Building An Ark – Part 5

Today is part five of six blog posts regarding why I am going to build an ark! May seem a little strange so check out this blog post to see what it’s all about, ‘Time To Build An Ark’. For those who can’t be bothered to click on another post, you’ll find out in part six what I am really building, and no it’s not an actually ark! Also check out the previous posts here, part one, part two,part three and part four.

Part 5

This journey I was going on was only just beginning, but before I felt called to ‘build an ark’ there was one more thing I believed God wanted to show me, and this would be the very issue that would be the catalyst to drive me forward.

As I sat in church I was overwhelmed with the unbalance of demographics. You see I live in a county were the percentage of 20-35 year olds are the same as the 35-5o and the 5o-65 year olds. However, our churches have only a small percentage of 20-35 year olds. This isn’t new, this is something that is probably the same in every county in America.

However, the problem I started to see wasn’t that this age group wasn’t a majority in the church, it was that this age group was leaving the church the older they got. Soon this group will be the 35-50’s and they will have already gone. We very often believe many churches are young and vibrant because our youth and kids ministries are kicking. However, something happens during the course of a life as they enter their 20’s and move into their 30’s. This has led to many leaving to church and not returning.

There are many reasons for this pattern, but I want to concentrate on one issue that is huge to the so-called ‘Generation X’, of which I am a part!

We know we are not perfect! In fact we are very open to sharing our issues, problems and struggles. However, I believe many have been left out to dry. Many churches do not want to open up and talk about their issues and struggles. The problem is, this generation has seen the flaws of many leaders yet are not put off by their flaws but put off by the lack of transparency.

I wonder if many of the today’s leaders had yesterday stood up in their pulpit and shared with their congregants their own struggles. Their struggles with pride, with anger, with insecurity, with lust, with jealousy, with envy, with lack of self-worth, with failure, with relationships, with trust and so forth if the very generation that is now missing in many churches would have actually left? I have a feeling they may just have stayed around.

The problem with the missing generation is that they have no identity with the church of today. They feel outcast, they feel unappreciated and they feel they will never live up to the false standards many leaders claim to live by. What this generation is crying out for is to belong to an authentic community of people where it is okay to talk about their struggles and it is safe to have issues.

Do you know of a 20-30 something that has left the church? Go ask them why? Don’t judge them, just ask why. They’ll tell you, but be ready for God to challenge you, you may not like what you hear!

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Why I’m Building An Ark – Part 4

Today is part four of six blog posts regarding why I am going to build an ark! May seem a little strange so check out this blog post to see what it’s all about, ‘Time To Build An Ark’. For those who can’t be bothered to click on another post, you’ll find out in part six what I am really building, and no it’s not an actually ark! Also check out part one if you click here and part two here and part three here.

Part 4

I have found that whenever God speaks he often has to deal with the one he is speaking to first, before that person can speak for God! This is what happened to me! Now I’m not saying that I’m some authority for God, but God had some things that he had planned for my life; before I could start to do what God had planned for me he had to sort me out first!

I had become like a stinking stagnant pond! I had stopped moving and that allowed me to spiritually stink. God is often referred in scripture as like a river that flows, or like a mighty rushing wind. He is referred to by things that are always on the move. I realized through the course of several months that my attempts at being a ‘good Christian’ and a ‘successful Pastor’ had resulted in becoming very stationary for God. It was as if God had put a bomb under me. My world was blown up. My view of the ‘Christian life’ was blown up and my view on the Pastorate was blown up. I realized if I wanted to fulfill my God-given destiny I would have to be on the move, always. If I wanted to chase after God I had to go on a journey! That is where I find myself today, on a journey chasing after a God who has big plans!

Today, I can see this same problem in so many seasoned Christians. We have become stagnant. Not because we did anything bad, but because we stopped moving when God moved. We became experts in living for Christ which resulted in us losing the very one we lived for.

I want to challenge you today, what are you doing today to chase after God? What are you doing to keep moving, keep flowing and in the end keep breathing? It’s time to put away the stench of comfort and flow like a fresh rushing river.


Why I’m Building An Ark – Part 3

Today is part three of six blog posts regarding why I am going to build an ark! May seem a little strange so check out this blog post to see what it’s all about, ‘Time To Build An Ark’. For those who can’t be bothered to click on another post, you’ll find out in part six what I am really building, and no it’s not an actually ark! Also check out part one if you click here and part two here.

Part 3

Over the last year God has opened my eyes to some things that I now see are so broken it’s going to take a movement on a huge scale to fix.

In part two I discussed how church had become boring and dead to so many. How? I mean we preach God’s word! We preach Jesus Christ! Doesn’t the bible say that the word is like a two-edged sword that pierces the heart of man?  Isn’t Jesus the author of life and his words are truth and life?

The problem I have found is that for so many years many have been using the sword incorrectly. Furthermore, the words of Jesus have been twisted to fit our needs and our culture. This takes the power and the life out of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is what I’ve seen:

  • We preach how to instead of why – Jesus never told the people to do something without the reasoning behind it. The problem is we have told people for years how to be a Christian, but have never truly discovered why we should be a Christian. We have told people we shouldn’t drink, smoke, have sex outside of marriage, say no to abortion and it’s wrong to become gay but have never explored what the bible really says and why it says it. Quoting a few verses will not change the lives of individuals today, opening up the bible to the why of God will change those same lives forever!
  • We are answering questions no-one is asking – Let’s be honest, how many sermons have you heard that have let no impact on your life? Way too many, and I’ve preached many myself! The thing is that the words of the bible are life, powerful and transforming, yet people have switched off and become numb to what we have said because people don’t care about the things we want to talk about.
  • We refuse to answer the questions people are asking – Jesus always answered peoples questions. They may not have liked what he said, but when a pure question came from someones heart he answered it. There is a generation of people living today who have been asking questions that the church at large are refusing to answer. I believe the reason is because we don’t know the answer ourselves! Well for the millions of people asking those questions, if we don’t answer them they will go elsewhere for those answers.

As I started to see these three problems things started to click into place with me. God wanted to reach the heart, mind and soul of people yet what we were facilitating in church rarely engaged all three.  I discovered that when the HOW comes before the WHY, the only thing that is left is rotten religion. When the WHY comes before the HOW, people discover purpose, meaning and life!