This month I want to spend a bit of time sharing my thoughts to the church. As a young(ish) clergy person I have some ideas after observing the state of the church over the last 10 years. Frankly, to be honest, if I wasn’t clergy, I’m not sure I’d be going to church.
So I’m spending a few weeks I’m exploring 6 thoughts, or suggestions, I have for the church. This isn’t targeting any one particular denomination or congregation since many of us are struggling in similar ways.
To see what I’ve already posted on this topic, here are Part 1 and Part 2.
Don’t Be Afraid
One of the things I’ve noticed over the last while is that it seems the church is living in a state of fear.
Fear over paying the bills. Fear of what the future may hold. Fear of keeping the building upright and maintained. Fear of what people may think of the church. Fear of what people might not think of the church. Fear of being able to find a good pastor. Fear that they might not find a good pastor. Fear, fear, fear….
Continually in the Old Testament, God told his people to “be not afraid.” And Jesus continued using this phrase in his ministry as well.
Yes the immediate future of the church does look like a scary place. There is much to doubt, there is much uncertainty.
But God isn’t in the business of fear. God wants to calm our fears. God wants us to live in the strength of his guiding love and be bold in our endeavours to be faithful to His call in our lives.
Fear is an emotion which holds us back. It causes us to turn away from risk. Fear is not from God. Whenever someone became afraid of what God was asking him or her to do, God responded with “do not be afraid.”
God has a plan for us. God has a future for us. God has never abandoned His people, and Jesus has told us that he will be with us until the end of the age.
So what are we scared of?
Be not afraid, my friends. Be not afraid.