why reimagine (4)

I’ve been thinking!
I believe that we are living in times of amazing transition that are exhilarating and terrifying at the same time and that challenge us to be our very best selves.
In a meeting with a small group of pastors and theological academics, I said: "I'm convinced that in the next 10-30 years, the local congregation as we know it will, for all intents and purposes, cease to exist. Most of our efforts at revitalizing the church are about renewing systems and structures that serve a world that no longer exists. I'm not saying the body of Christ is going away. But where and how it mobilizes to serve, I believe, will be very different."
In a different conversation with a denominational executive, I asked, "If you could get your congregations to do just one thing - and that one thing would foster significant movement toward the transformation of the people of God and the communities they serve, what would that one thing be?” Her answer: I'd have 80% of the congregations I serve sell their building and figure out how to use the money to structure different kinds of ministries to the community in which they exist. The building both defines and profoundly limits change, because we think our building is where God is on mission and we are spending so much on keeping the building in repair.”
I've thought a lot about these two conversations. How will the body of Christ look in 10 to 30 years? I don't know. If I had to make some predictions based on my current perspective, I would say house churches, churches in the workplace functioning subversively, and the return of vibrant, small neighborhood churches. I think these neighborhood churches will be evaluated by two criteria. Do they regularly produced transformed people who can love God, neighbor, stranger, enemy and self? And do they serve the felt needs of the community in which they exist? In other words, do they add measurable value to the quality of the community, to the presence of the Shalom of God.
What interesting times we live in. God grant us wisdom for the living of these days.
Jim Herrington
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Youre Doing a Great WorkDont Yield to the Devil’s Distractions!
By Jeff Keaton
In the great account of God’s work of restoration found in the book of Nehemiah, there is a powerful moment and lesson found in chapter six. Nehemiah and his band of helpers had finally finished rebuilding the wall around the city, and their enemies were desperately trying to find a way to stop them from continuing the restoration of Jerusalem. Sanballet and Tobiah asked Nehemiah to come out of the city and meet them in the plain of Ono. Their plan was to “do him harm” once they got him away from the city. Nehemiah was wise to their plans and sent them back an extremely fitting response: “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” Nehemiah refused to allow the distractions of the enemy to stop him from accomplishing the work God had called him to do.
If you are in leadership, working diligently to accomplish God’s work in some area of creation, then you know how often Satan sends detractors to try and prevent you from fulfilling the mission God has given you. It seems there is always a crisis, an urgent matter lurking at the door. It may be a person, a project, or a problem of some kind that keeps you from accomplishing the work God has given you. I’ve seen Christian organizations completely derailed over one small issue that turned into a mountain of trouble. If we are going to be successful in the kingdom work God has given us, we must learn to say to these distractions: “I am doing a great work, and I cannot come down. Why would the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” I realize that there will always be hundreds of issues that leaders must attend to, but let’s determine to never lose focus on the main mission God has given us.
Recently, here at RenewaNation, we have been asking ourselves: Is there anything we are involved in that is not in the sweet spot of our calling to give children a biblical worldview? We are determined to avoid the distractions that will prevent us from seeing millions of new children developing a biblical worldview.
What is distracting you today? What is it that you need to say no to and move on from? Is it a person on your team who consistently drags down others? Is it someone’s pet program that is draining your organization’s energy and resources? Is it a besetting sin that continuously calls you away from intimacy with Christ and thus prevents you from living a powerful, Spirit-led life? Whatever it is, Christ has the power, wisdom, and strength you need to overcome it. Rely fully upon Him. Rest deeply in Him, and He will help you accomplish the call He has given you.
Article written by Jeff Keaton, Founder & CEO of RenewaNation. Reposted with permission. For more information about RenewaNation, please visit renewanation.org.

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The #Reimagine Journey is the road less travelled towards God's wisdom
Did you know that the path of least resistance is seldom the best path?
Glenn Bleakney
That’s why so many believers swallow hook, line and sinker, the so-called wisdom of the world...
Because it is so often the path of least resistance. It's all about cutting corners, short cuts, overnight success without putting in the effort and it seldom delivers true and lasting value.
James 3 lets us know that there is wisdom from below (earthly wisdom) and wisdom from above (Godly wisdom) with the latter being the one that is truly POWERFUL!
You don’t want man’s wisdom, even though that is what is most commonly offered by men preying on the naïve and/or desperate. What you need in difficult times, indeed at all times, is the wisdom that comes from above. 
1 Corinthians 1:30 tells us that “But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us WISDOM from God…” Paul goes on to tell us that we have been given the very mind of Christ, (1 Corinthians 2:16) who is the possessor of God’s wisdom, the revealer of secrets and the repository of all knowledge.
As Jesus Himself said, “wisdom is justified by her children.” (Matthew 11:19) So while it may look foolish, the proof is in the pudding as they say. When you think about it, wisdom is like money. It accomplishes what money can do, (and more). Solomon said, “Wisdom is a defense as money is a defense." (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
Wisdom is not some stored up suite of information. It is inseparable from God’s Word – the Lord Jesus Christ, who became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) 
When you have Jesus living in you, you have at your request all the wisdom you need for any situation. If you seem to lack it, ask God who gives to all men liberally, without shaming you and it will be given to you. (James 1:5)
Accessing this kind of wisdom is just one of the secrets of God that will propel you past (or through) any obstacle.
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GUEST POST: 6 Stages of a Dying Church

GUEST POST:  6 Stages of a Dying Church

  1. Recalibration. There is a sense that something’s wrong in the church, so the church responds in one of two ways. Do more of what we are doing that has proven ineffective. Or, secondly, seek a “magic bullet” program, emphasis, or new pastor. The church does not really want to change; it just thinks it needs an adjustment.
Six Stages Of A Dying Church

Six Stages Of A Dying Church

Contributed by: Sermoncentral // Sermoncentral

It’s not a pleasant topic.

But if we don’t talk about dying churches, we will act like there are no problems. As I wrote in Breakout Churches, the first stage for any church to reverse negative trends is awareness or, stated another way, confronting the brutal realities.

Somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 churches in America will close their doors in the next year. And many of them die because they refuse to recognize problems before they became irreversible

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