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Ephemeral Plant or Spiritual Redwood?

The yeErythronium americanum, Yellow trout-lilyllow trout lily is an ephemeral plant. The word ephemeral means transitory or quickly fading.¹ It is beautiful but it doesn’t last. Compare that to the giant redwood trees which live and thrive for hundreds of years.

Bill Easum and Tom Bandy have been involved in helping churches all over North America understand our times and themselves in relation to the mission that Jesus has given us—to make disciples. In a book, which they co-authored, called Growing Spiritual Redwoods they talk about some of the differences between “declining” and “thriving” congregations.

In these “thriving” congregations which they call “Spiritual Redwoods,” leadership is “all about letting go of control. The organization does not tell people what to do, but helps people discern their callings themselves, and then equips them to pursue those callings with excellence.” One thriving-church leader was asked, “How do you decide what ministries to begin?” She answered: “We tell people that if the Lord lays it on your heart today, you can do it tonight, and tell us about it tomorrow!”

That kind of environment, climate depends on some basic factors:

• A clear commitment to Jesus. Nothing matters except the
gospel. “The body of Christ will sacrifice anything and
everything—property, offices, financial security, traditional
music, familiar heritage—for the sake of the gospel.”
• A clear understanding of our mission (purpose)—to make
followers of Jesus (disciples). There is a passion for
transforming lives.
• Ministry is part of being a follower of Jesus.
• High expectation from each follower.
John 14:12- The truth is, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works,…

Messiah church—ephemeral plant or Spiritual Redwood? It’s up to us to decide.

¹Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
photo credit: flickr.com/

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