I heard about a rooster who spied a large ostrich egg in the yard next door. He quickly flew over the fence to examine it. He looked it over, kicked it, and rolled it back into the yard. He then called the hens together and said, “Now girls, I’m not complaining – I’m simply showing you what some are doing in other places.”
Like the rooster in this story, church leaders tend to put a lot of emphasis on the size of a church. The larger the church attendance, the more interest people have in how they do things. Church leaders travel to those churches and “roll their eggs around,” and try to determine if their eggs will work in their setting. It is healthy to examine what we do as a church and to see if we can do something better or different.
I understand that change is scary to many people, but I am sure that there are a great number of changes in your life that were wonderful and welcome. I want you to answer a few questions about who you are over the next few months. Remember, what the church does and how it does it depends on the collective maturity, obedience and passion of each member.
When we pray we unleash the Spirit. Several years ago, I heard about Randy Reid, a 34-year-old welder, who was working near the top of a newly constructed water tower outside Chicago when he slipped and fell 110 feet. Barely missing rocks and debris, Reid landed in a six-foot pile of soft sand near the base of the tower. Coworkers called 911, and within minutes the rescue crew was on the scene. Miraculously, a bruised lung was the only injury the construction worker sustained.
The irony is that while he was being carried to the ambulance on a stretcher (about 3 feet above the ground), he looked into the faces of the paramedics and nervously pleaded, “Please don’t drop me!” What’s that all about? The guy falls off an 11-story water tower and lives, only to be concerned about a stretcher ride a few feet above the ground.
I’m so glad that we, as Christians, never question God’s ability to carry us! Well, occasionally we might allow ourselves to worry about the health of our marriage, our children’s safety, or the pressures of work. Actually, most of us begin to feel overwhelmed with fears and cry out “Please, God don’t drop me!”
Uncertainty is a constant; it really doesn’t matter if it’s 110 feet away or 3 feet away. But when you realize the ultimate fall from which God has saved you-the fall of sin-our fears of being dropped from the stretcher are unfounded. Fear usually raises its ugly head when we’re operating in the flesh, when we’re trying to do things apart from God. Where are you on this continuum?
Flesh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Spirit
We are commanded to pray and to allow the Lord to place us in the uncomfortable settings where the Spirit can flourish rather than the flesh. Someone asked me years ago “If the Holy Spirit were to completely pull out of your life, would you notice?” Could you tell if anything had changed, or are you so driven to serve in the flesh that the absence of the Spirit wouldn’t even alter your actions?”
When it comes to church growth, rather than looking for the gimmick in the flesh, we need to seek the Spirit.
-- Pastor Clint