Be THAT Church

Do you know THAT person? You know that person who is always bubbly, and always oozing with excitement. Equally as annoying as he or she is, you find yourself "wanting some of what he or she's got." 
 
I'm not talking about the person who necessarily looks completely put together or whose life is going perfectly right. I'm talking about that person who is contagiously excited about living despite their circumstances or position.
 
It's one thing for one person to live like this, but what happens when many people are living like this? Where does all THAT come from? 
 
If you attend church (which I hope you do), when you look at your church what do you see?
 
Do you see God's burning presence day and night?
 
Do you see Life and Light illuminating from it?
 
Do you feel power from Heaven as the body gathers together to worship Him?
The Church is made up of people—imperfect people—who hopefully have submitted their lives to Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and are fully relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to lead them in their daily lives.
 
Programs may or may not run efficiently. Volunteer positions may or may not be staffed one hundred percent. Styles of music could be an issue. Length of service might be an issue for others. On and on. These are worldly issues inside of the Church.
 
However, at the core of the Church should be the presence of God. If the church is too focused on its name or its people and not His name and His people, they’ve elevated themselves on their own altar.
 
His name is not isolated to one church or one denomination.
 
“For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9–11)
 
His people are not isolated to one church or one denomination.
 
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, heirs according to promise.” (Galatians 3:26–29)
 
Our churches should be places that attract people to His presence. We cannot manufacture a true movement of the Holy Spirit. This will grieve the Spirit. However, we can be prayerful people who show up each and every week fully prayed up and ready to experience and encounter the Holy Spirit every time we step foot in our churches.
 
The Holy Spirit isn’t just present during loud worship or times of prayer. He is actively pursuing our hearts as we listen to the pastor, as we talk with our friends, as we greet new guests, as we teach Bible study, as we teach little children and any other number of tasks we do for the church.
 
I don’t know about you, but I have been in some churches where I have not felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. As a believer, the Holy Spirit resides within me, as it does with you if you are believer, so I walk around with the Spirit’s presence. But I sometimes wonder as I visit churches and hear about churches whether the congregants and at times, even the pastor, are actually believers fully equipped with and knowledgeable about the Holy Spirit’s power.
 
For some, finding a new spiritually alive church might be in order. However, for some, that is not always possible or what God would have you do. What then? Pray for your pastor and your church body. I firmly believe that if we spent less time complaining about all the things that are wrong with our churches and our pastors and more time praying for them, the Church as a whole would be wildly alive in these days.
I want to be a magnet for darkness so that lost people can find the Light. I want churches around the world to be magnets for darkness so that hurting, hopeless and lost people will be attracted to the Light that emanates from their doors and from their people. Instead of self-medicating at shopping malls, bars, restaurants, and other unmentionable locations, my desire is that people run to the Church to find healing, hope and for many, to find Jesus for the first time. Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Mark 2:17). The sick aren’t going to come if they don’t think we will help them, and we can’t help them apart from the Spirit.
 
Would you join me in committing to pray for a radical shift in the atmosphere of churches around the world this weekend and this upcoming Easter season? Even if you think your church is doing all the right things, it still needs prayer to keep it going, growing and connected to its Source. 

Erin Olson

Founder and CEO of Sandalfeet Ministries

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