Fresh Wind Graphic
Summer Reading Challenge. Chapter 8 Commentary.

So what does a church need?|
A building?
People?
A pastor?
Boldness?

Growing up in Baltimore I attended a couple different churches, each for a decent period of time. It has helped me realize that instead of looking for what I can get out of church it is so important to invest in the local church. Not being a consumer can be hard because churches split, imperfect people are involved, and culture puts pressure on the church to change. Each can lead to hurt and more wounds if we look to the organization instead of the King.

I am always impressed with the documentaries about Walmart and other big box stores where every square inch of the store is agonized over in order to produce the most money. I would be lying to you if I said I do not do the same over youth ministry. I try to make it. I try to build it. I try to squeeze every ounce out of it that I can. I … I… I…

That is what gets me… I.

We often try to manufacture things. We are self made people that are told very early on “if you want it then go get it. You deserve it”. The New Testament church was completely opposite of this thought process. It survived solely on the Holy Spirit. It was reliant on the boldness He provided. There were no lights, guitars, or videos to help motivate their hearts.

Some may argue and say times have changed, and there was less going on back in the first century church. The distractions that we have now are so large and intrusive that we have to use every avenue available to reach people. We are to use the talents God has given us to bring Him glory, but can easily end up with the attention on ourselves.  I laugh at myself each time I get caught up in the thought that I had something to do with someone coming to Christ. HE DID IT. Not me, HIM.

Truth is what draws people to Christ. So often I struggle to hear conviction because of the amount of things that crowd my life. I always seem to fill my heart with things I want. Yet it is all foolishness. I can only be used by Him if I bend my knee to the King, clear the stage my life plays out on, and hand it over to Him.  I have to trust Him enough so He can be bold through me.

So how do we build His church His way?

Seek to bring Him and ONLY Him glory. Plain and simple. I tend to complicate things with my ideas, thoughts, and actions.

Take a second and think through these questions:

Do we believe The Truth demands a response?
What do we expect that God will do when we walk into church on a Sunday?
Where are our hearts when the music starts playing?
Do we believe that the Bible’s words are sharp and require immediate action?
How many hours of sermons have we heard versus the number of times we have acted on their challenging words?

So what should we do?

We have to dig deeper. Come to church ready for God to work. Do not just punch the clock or watch the show. Allow worship to be worship by clearing the stage and allowing nothing to take the spotlight that is not Jesus. Pray for boldness and seek forgiveness for missed opportunities.

It is work to follow Him. The cross He speaks of in Luke 9 is heavy but it is worthy because it leads us to less of us and more of Him. By taking up our cross to follow Him we are speaking volumes to what He has done. Be bold!

Jeremiah Kleylein

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