As we move out of our second year in this pandemic-culture, we're going to need to keep listening for discernment on where to go next and what to do with the new growth we've seen. Where 2020 shouted the adage, "If you can't bend, you'll break," and 2021 even less sympathetically declared, "No pain, no gain," 2022 is generously whispering opportunities to those who'd have eyes to see and ears to hear it.
Most will admit the church has been pressed down, threshing and folding on top again and again as of late. But will we throw the baby out with the bathwater? On the bright side (the Joshua and Caleb attitude), we're seeing new opportunities and territories that need to hear the Gospel of Christ. Additionally, it seems clear that it's time to empower everyone because superstar religion is finally dead. Yay! Podcasts, conference calls, books and other media have overwhelmed it. If it doesn't carry out into the spheres of influence of the receiver, it spills out and dries up quick.
Knowledge is unbelievably cheap today and that isn't changing. Wisdom is still holding value however. Wisdom is transferable and while some are still choking down the spoiled quail and rotten manna of yesterday, most are out looking for ways to tend and keep a garden of life for their immediate families and the people in their sphere of influence.
If all we see are giants in the promised land of 2022, then we're just not seeing this right. It's simple deception. Where God put a door, deception put a wall for us. We've all read the end of the Bible and, spoiler alert, we are looking forward to a wedding, not a funeral. The church herself is the Bride, not the pallbearer. Thereby if it isn't full of hope, it's full of deception.
The church has withstood over two thousand years of movement; that's not the concern. It's the deepest-rooted palm tree on the beach in fact but if we can't see that, then we can't participate with the move we're in and we are the ones missing out. The year 2022 might even proclaim an adage of its own: "What got you here won't get you there." It's time to look constructively at the portability of our churches, our gospel and our offerings. If it's not portable, transferable and easy to carry, you need to let it go.
The cyber fields are ripe; the international airways are opened! The church finally left the building and let's not try to shove her back in when the globe is finding ways to commune around whatever hope of Christ we may have in common. The church isn't the problem of course; she has the answer. She has the solution within her and His name is Jesus. He can go everywhere but we may need to drop whatever we have that doesn't carry. Is it portable? Great, it stays. If not, it needs to go now.
Christian author Joshua Marcengill produces a weekly podcast that utilizes meditation and activations to help Christians cultivate more supernatural encounters with God. The show is called Abundant Encounters. To learn more, visit abundantencounters.com.
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