By: Waylon Bailey ~
I’m a pastor, and I give almost all of my attention to my local church. I don’t survey all churches, and I certainly don’t know where they are going. But as a pastor, I sense four encouraging trends for the church.
Jeremiah counseled the people of his day to take a close look at the ancient paths (Jeremiah 6:16). He meant to look at the ways God had worked in the past and to find hope and strength in those ways. He promised that God’s ways would bring rest for their souls.
I believe this is happening to many Christians. As they view the deterioration of the culture, they want to look to something that is tried and true and can be counted on. That, of course, pictures beautifully God’s Word.
I find encouragement that people are seeking God’s Word and God’s way.
Second, I have sensed an encouraging trend that Christian churches are becoming more similar and more united. In many ways, some of the things that have divided us in the past no longer seem as important. This too may be the result of a coarsening culture that seems to be turning away from God.
More than at any time in my ministry, I see churches being willing to work together and to support one another. In my local church we seek to see other churches as our allies and teammates rather than competition and enemies.
Third, I see a trend where churches are caring for needy people and attempting to meet physical needs.
For example, this summer our church and association will host a large number of teenagers who are coming to our area to meet the physical needs of people. These World Changers will primarily be involved in building and remodeling projects.
As we care for the needs of others, others will have favor for the church. As we care for people’s physical needs, we will also be more aware of their spiritual needs.
Fourth, I see among young people an increased desire to take Christ to the nation and to the nations. Many of these are our finest young adults. They are planting churches and preaching the gospel. What can God do with these who are giving their all to make Christ known?
For these and many other reasons, I am encouraged in the church.
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Have a great week!