As a leader and pastor, there are some tough questions I face every day. Actually, they're more in my face than I’d like.
What do you do when the "new normal" seems very abnormal?
How do you move forward when you are awfully unsure who is moving with you?
When did fear and frustration become the forces that control so many lives?
I get it; Covid is serious. (Not rampant in Spokane county, but serious nonetheless.)
I understand; people are worried.
I also know we live in a post-Christian era where the Church at large is not-so-large as it once was in the US.
But are there still people of God willing to face lions and certain death for their faith?
Where are the passionate lovers of Jesus who desire above all to live in community with God's family, and who long for God's presence in worship?
Why are so many no longer watching Church online or attending anywhere? (According to Barna, one third of practicing Christians have dropped out of church completely since Covid.) Have they forsaken the gathering of the saints out of laziness or for the pursuit of comfort and pleasure?
These questions, and many others, consume a lot of my thoughts. On the upside, I've never prayed more for the Church than I have lately.
I am convinced that we need regenesis—a renewal and revival in our hearts, lives, and churches.
The biggest question I wrestle with is this: What will it take for renewal and revival to come?
By the way, the question is not, “Does God want to bring renewal or revival?” Of course, He does. And I would suggest the issue is profoundly personal; will I let God bring renewal to me?
The power and presence of God are never unavailable. He is always present and always willing to move and work in and through His people.
So what will it take to get where God wants us to be?
Relax, I'm not going to give you the standard, three-point answers that always start with "pray more."
Of course, we need to pray, but what will drive us to our knees in prayer?
What will wake us up?
What will shake us from our apathy and resulting lethargy?
What will place our fears in their place and embolden us again?
I suggest one thing is needed above all: A sense of holy and urgent desperation!
We who call Jesus, Lord, we who have chosen to surrender to Him, and we who are struggling to make sense of a world gone mad must get mad.
Mad at hell.
Mad at the darkness.
Mad at the white noise of our culture trying to drown out the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit calling us to renewed surrender and radical renewal.
Do you believe that Jesus is coming soon?
Do you realize how short your time is (regardless of your current age) on this side of eternity?
The Church in the West might be in decline currently, but our mission is still as critical as ever.
Are you desperate for more of Jesus?
Are you desperate to see your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and family to come to Jesus?
When was the last time you cried over the broken state of our country and our world?
Is this post boring you or irritating you?
Is your heart desperate for regenesis in you and in the Church? If not, why not?
Now is the time to let the fire of the Holy Spirit fall again.
Now is our opportunity as Christ-followers to mark our cities with the Gospel rather than be marred by evil.
Now is the season to sacrifice all—if need be—to reach a world being sacrificed on the altar of self-pleasure and decadence.
Not after Covid.
Not next year.
3 For a long time Israel had not sought the one true God,
or a priest to instruct them, or the law.
4 Because of their distress, they turned back to the Lord God of Israel.
They sought him and he responded to them.
2 Chronicles 15:3-4 (NET)