I was in a queue at New Wine (a Christian Festival) and some fella in front of me, evidently a clergy person, was saying how they wanted to find up at a successful New Wine Church.
As I thought about I wanted to punch him!
Why is it the big and successful Churches especially in nice leafy suburbs seen to be sort after by clergy, yet those churches which need renewing, which are struggling and in trouble no one wants to come to.
Just as in the world of teaching it’s the toughest schools which actually need the best teachers, yet everyone wants to go where it is successful.
Yet I was thinking that actually this is asking God for a bit of an easy life, a comfortable cross to carry, a cushy call.
When I was 20/21 I worked for two Churches in the North of England, one no one has ever heard of but saw God do amazing and wonderful things, the other is famous and much much larger and I didn’t see God doing very much at all.
A Church living in it (glorious) past where God did wonderful things, but the past is just that past, gone. I vowed then that trying to revive smug carcasses, relics of the past, church morphing into a museum, was not something I felt called to but seeking where God was at work, or wanting to break in was where I felt drawn to.
Sometimes we get sedduced by a name of a successful church, leader, ministry or movement and what they have done, but again the question remains not what has happened but what is happening.
Sadly things that have mightily been used by God need to keep in step with him, the problem is we keep wanting to stop and to settle, where the spirit of God keeps pushing forward in waves, are we keeping up, or have we stopped, or stalled on our journey.
To often we want to go where God has been, rather than where God is going, what God had done rather than what God is doing, sat looking at his footprints rather than chasing his shadow.
We can’t live in the past, caught in history, rather that step into the future that God is beckoning us into.
Often we share stories of conversation of what God has done in our lives that want he’s actually doing… Sometimes the stories we tell are getting a bit old, our best history rather that what God is doing with us now, today, and where is God leading us on to the future.
So to close, let’s make sure our walk with God, our ministries, where we serve isn’t just resting sat back on its history but pushing forward chasing after where God is leading.
Tommy Tenny used the phrase “God chasers” and I like the image of this, running after Christ and wanting to keep in step with his spirit, not stopping, not settling, not coming comfortable and complacent, stuck in a rut, lagging behind where God is leading us, sitting out for a season or doing our own thing.