To Thrive and Revive, We Need to Pivot
It was my honor to contribute the vibrant and growing platform at Propel Women again. They are looking to empower female voices in the church, and nothing could excite me more! Perhaps your church has been struggling with numbers since COVID—the statistics aren't always encouraging. If you're discouraged by what you see in the pews or outside of them in our often divisive world, read this. Urge God to show you how he can use YOU to grow the church precisely when it is needed most.
Is the church dying? I am a denominationally-trained pastor, and worship statistics in the United States aren’t always encouraging. My heart breaks when I hear that more churches have closed their doors.
I recently sat down with a few female pastors for lunch. As much as we were excited to catch up, the topic quickly shifted to, “How can we creatively engage our congregation and spur its future growth?” It’s a vital question.
Brainstorming ways to reach new people about old wisdom is important for two reasons. First, God wants the church to continuously reflect the vibrancy of his Being. Second, while numbers might have dwindled in the pew, the need for God’s church certainly hasn’t.
As I look around, cultural pain is both old and new. Widespread social division is palpable. The need that the church can fill still abounds, but many are going to drier and drier wells to drink. In an online age when we’ve never been more connected, we’ve never felt more alone. Plus, we’ve forgotten how to talk to each other.
We’ve been hoodwinked.
FILLING THE “GOD-SHAPED HOLE” IN OUR HEARTS
Faith has always been capable of uniting people. Shared values and goals are more important than differences when people come together for something bigger than themselves. It’s our following of something greater than has the power to fill us in ways that don’t disappoint and heal the cracks in our collective soul.
Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest” (John 10:10). Christ can fill a void that nothing else can or will. Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in you.”
While the need for God is age-old, the humility that faith inspires is precisely the balm needed today. We’re poised for another revival. There’s freedom in dethroning the self and enthroning God. There’s healing in recognizing our need for God and one another amidst widespread isolation. There’s victory in grounding life in God’s unconditional love rather than our fickle culture.
BE BRAVE. BE BOLD.
I am reminded of Jesus’ observation that the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few in Matthew 9:37. His truth holds true. The harvest is brimming.
Who are the laborers? We are. Fellow women, the church needs our voices too...
Read on at Propel Sophia Here
Want more? You can also read my last article for them. Thank you as always to my fantastic Propel editor and friend, Bronwyn Lea. Check out her newest book, Beyond Awkward Side Hugs.