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Grace News & Good Ideas
February 10, 2010
asking to have our foundation shaken
Last night we had an earthquake. It wasn't huge (just 4.3)--nothing like what Haiti has experienced.  In fact, some people even slept through it. But it woke Roger and I up at the same time. We looked at each other and asked, "what was that?!" We listened for a while, we looked around but we couldn't find evidence of anything. So we did what most people would do at 4:00 a.m., we went back to sleep.
 
In the light of day a couple of hours later, it dawned on me that we had acted in the night much like most people do. Our world gets shaken, we look around to see what caused it, look to see if there's any lasting damage, and if we find that not much has changed, we go back to what we've been doing.
 
God has told us to "not let him find us sleeping" (Mark 13:36).  Have we taken that seriously? Have we used all of our resources and energies to bring people into a relationship with the Savior, Jesus? Or are we using our energies to "keep things the same" and ignoring the quake that God is creating under our feet? 
 
We're in an incredibly exciting time!  People are looking for something to give new meaning to their lives. They're looking for something to believe in during a time when life is just too unpredictable. We often mistake the solution to what they need as "sameness." But that ignores the "quake" God has created to wake us up. What are we doing as a church to draw them in? What are we doing in our churches to not only attract them to God but connect them to the saving grace of Jesus?  If we don't do something, if we "don't wake up from [our] slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we believed," (Romans 23:11), we run the risk of letting thousands of people go back to their daily grind, go back to their pillows and shut out the One who can change their life forever.
good ideas:
1.  Begin talking about opportunities rather than negativities about this time we're living in.
 
2.  Offer training on "stewardship," the joy of taking care of what God has given us, so that people recognize it's not just about money. 
 
3.  Brainstorm about some ways you can shake things up in your worship service so that God doesn't find you sleeping.
 
4.  Brainstorm some ways you an share with others who don't yet know Jesus in your community.
 
5. Do an audit of how much of your ministry is "repeat." (for instance: most congregations sing an average of 50 songs throughout the year-other than seasonal music)
Michelle Jenks, Grace Institute
2770 Montgomery Rd, Aurora, IL 60504
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