Tag Archives: the church

Gather in and give in

James 5:16 “Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”


There must be a safe place. A safe place to confess without condemnation. A safe place of prayer. A safe place to understand that everyone, including me and including you, are not perfect. A safe place where we are healed. A safe place where there is power. A safe place where you are valued beyond your ability.  A safe place where you are accepted not because you are successful or a failure. A safe place where healing will change your life. A safe place where there is no division, no victim, and no oppressor. There is such a place. This place is within the united gathering of believers. My friends, let us confess without fear, pray without condemnation, hope for healing, and gather in peace for fellowship. A place for prayer.

As we gather today as one body let us not be guarded or restricted in our love for those are in most in need.  Today of all days let us seek out those who hurt the most and just love them as Christ as loved you.

# Just Larry

Ten Fears for the American Church

My Bible tells me perfect love casts out all fear.  Here on the edge of a new month, a new year and a new decade, I am alarmed at the signs within the church which can well be called fear.  Here is the ten that disturbs me:

  1. I am greatly fearful of the church having the form of godliness but without the power of God.  I find more and more people using Christianity as an inoculation to provide an entrance into the Kingdom of God and not truly living the life of a blood washed throng.
  2. I am fearful of the body of believers tolerate sin far too much.  Some would well say it is legalism but sometimes we swing to far to acceptance at any lifestyle there is no real distinctiveness.  If it makes no difference, then there is no difference.
  3. I am fearful of the relevance movement in the church.  We have music that no longer teaches us about God and more about the beat and the light show.  Sometimes it may well be called 7-11 music: eleven words sung over and over eleven times.  We tell the world come as you are, but even at a football game there are uniforms. 
  4. I am fearful of the seeming lack of the use of the Bible.  In church, if the scripture is not posted up in a PowerPoint presentation on a big screen the Bible is ignored.  We don’t take our Bibles to church, we don’t study, we don’t memorize, we don’t hide the Word in our hearts much anymore.
  5. I am fearful of the American church that thinks it is the center of Christianity.  The growth of the church is stagnant if not declining in America.  The places where the church is growing is in the poorest places in the world.  Has the Church in America become complacent?  Probably.
  6. I am fearful of a church that gets hung up on the things that simply don’t matter.  We readily say we are in agreement with our Christian denominations but under our breath, we think they are simply misguided and wrong theologically.
  7. I am fearful of the American church which reserves prayer for the up-fronters in worship.  Prayer meetings have become a thing of the past.  The power of prayer has been replaced by the power of the committee and community.
  8. I am fearful of the American Church that produces not strong Christians but milk drinkers.  Discipleship that reciprocates to create more disciples is being lost.  When Jesus said to go unto the whole world, he said our job was making disciples not increasing attendance at a worship service.
  9. I am fearful of the American church because of the movement to the Mega-church model.  There is nothing wrong with big churches, but they often kill the small fellowship of believers with care for each other and know each other.  Sure, there is more struggle to make ends meet in the small church, there are fewer opportunities for specialized ministries. Never-the-less they have been and must be the source of the true strength of the American church.
  10. I fear for the American church because they seem to have lost the awe of God.  I miss the tears, the testimonies, the victories, the little old ladies with handkerchiefs raising them in victory, of altar calls, of singing Victory in Jesus and meaning it, of my heart pricked to do more for God, of a preacher that gets excited at what he has to share, of sinners saved, of habits broken, of redemption and rejoicing.

Just my thoughts today. If you agree with any of these, pick one and work on it. Strengthen the American church by beginning with your congregation.