Yesterday was big fun in our congregation. We celebrated, some were seen dancing, clapping and generally connecting with God in deep ways. As we moved to the teaching time of our gathering, I found myself ready to issue a challenge. What difference has Jesus and the Holy Spirit made in your life.
It seems week in and week out people all over the world attend services. They sing, pray, hear a sermon etc. then go home to continue their daily business. It is almost as if we lose sight of what is really happening. Engagement with a church community on Sunday morning becomes an empty ritual that is more of a to do on the list, than a opportunity to meet God and continue the transformation. The most common error for many is to see church as mere information. I can give the congregation books if it is about information. The times when we gather as the community of God, should move us to further transformation. We should live differently because we have spent time with God and each other.
There is a two pronged responsibility to the continued work of transformation. First, the leadership of a church needs to be able to create an environment for transformation. Second, each person must be willing to engage the journey of transformation. Only when these two things are present and functioning can the church be a place of transformation.
This is not about style, music or any of that trivial stuff. It is about people yielding their lives to the work and mission of God. Allowing ourselves to be transformed by an encounter with God. If you are feeling un-effected by the gatherings at your church, perhaps it is time to look at which one of the prongs is out of step. However, recognition is only part of it. There must be a willingness to change.