The Presence of God
They are right you know. They are absolutely dead on. Everyone who attends Church only on Easter and Christmas, or who choose not to attend church at all are justified in doing so. Just ask them and they will have every good reason under Heaven and on earth to explain why they do not attend. Now before you stop reading, or think you know where I am going with this, please hang on. This is the week after Easter. We are all in for The Easter Hangover. May I help us all take stock in our complicity in our pews being partially, half or ¾’s empty again this First Sunday after Easter?
You mark my words as 98% of the church buildings will be only partially filled yet again this Sunday across our County, State and Country, and it’s our own fault! Our worship has either never changed in 50 to over 100 years, or we do not have a thriving way in place to engage our newer younger generations, or we have simply not done enough to try to reach out to those who need God as badly as we do, through a vibrant experience of Jesus Christ, to have them come and see what they may be missing.
This week in our worship we will share some telling statistics. George Barna, founder of a research firm that studies religious beliefs and behaviors across America, surveyed regular churchgoers. He found that 14% of adult believers have never experienced the presence of God. He tells that %14 have experienced God presence but not in the past year, while 72% have encountered God within the past year. Sobering news for churches: about 50% report not experiencing God’s presence in a “typical worship service”. So what are we to do?
I have just a few simple suggestions that came originally from Franklin Graham when we went to The State Capitol to pray for our cities, counties, State and Country this past Spring/Summer. He suggested that we pray each Sunday morning intentionally at some time during the week for our Churches to be better equipped to meet the needs of the communities around us, and then to keep praying, and then to keep praying still more. Pray, pray and pray. We have a group that prays each Sunday morning still since that time….for the ministry of The Healing God to help us live in The Living God of Grace and Mercy.
Jesus did rise from the dead. He is alive. We need to do all we can to ask Him help us help our country get through its extended National Hangover by where generations are living, and dying without ever having experienced His forgiveness in addition to His Grace and Mercy. Jesus wants so badly to have others experience the same He has offered to us from The Cross: “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Luke 23:34
Let us do all we can to continue to pray that our lives, worship and churches will be able to better convey His true message in such a way that no one will ever be to say we did not try, or that they were not afforded the opportunity to choose for themselves before we and they pass from this world. Bless be the tie that binds.