What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Church”?
If you are like most people, you think of buildings, clergy (professional ministers) rituals and programs. This is the working definition that is deeply embedded not only in our country, but in most places of the world. It has been the way people have thought of church for ages.
How inspiring are those words to you? Do they feel life-giving and transformational? Does this description sound or look like what Jesus said or did?
Chapter 4, of the Book of Ephesians, gives us a much richer understanding. It mentions 5 “Ascension Gifts” or spiritual enablements that Jesus wired into the identity, calling and resources of the church when He ascended to heaven.
“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the...
How can you tell how badly someone wants something? There seem to be two primary indicators. First, how hard are they trying to get what they want? Second, how long are they willing to keep trying? How much someone wants something is often a function of both factors – intensity and perseverance.
Once, when I arrived at Logan airport late for my flight, the passion with which I pleaded for mercy and help from the airline administrator indicated that I wanted very badly to be placed on that plane immediately. Passion, intensity and the exertion of energy often indicate deep desire. Sometimes, however, shear hard work is not enough to get what you want; it requires sustained effort over a long period of time. Lincoln demonstrated, through his unwillingness to give up after repeated political losses and failures, that he really wanted to become president of the United States. From time to time a wall must be struck repeatedly, over a long period of...