No joke – I saw this sign posted at the door leaving the worship area: “If the church catches fire, turn left out these double doors and exit to the front sidewalk. Turn left and walk down to the Catholic Church.”
Truth is, churches are catching fire – God is really moving. I guess if you don’t like the change, the excitement, the new people sitting in your favorite spot, you could always go to the church down the block.
The other day, 55 counties in my state were declared eligible for federal disaster relief for crop failure – due to the terrible drought. I’ve never seen it this bad, have you? The crops are withered, stunted. There won’t be corn or soybeans. In this case: no rain, no fruit.
Why are so many Christian churches so dry? So little fruit? Aging members. Few youth. Rarely any newcomers. It’s not the soil – the people. Most of these folks love God, have faith, are great people. It’s not the seed – God’s Word, experiencing Jesus’ touch of love and forgiveness. That’s as powerful as ever. There are communities of believers scattered all over that are green, lush-producing fields that will become a great harvest of changed lives. What is the difference?
It’s the climate. And the climate can be changed. Your church can catch fire – the good kind that warms people with hope and love and joy. All you need is a handful of on-fire believers. It’s called an awakening. It’s not a program. It’s a climate change.