I’m a fan of systems and structure, I like organization. Jim would confirm I have control issues, but I have learned along the way, a healthy church has little to do with structure, systems and control. Healthy churches are spiritually dependent churches—it’s a posture of prayerful dependence.
Carl Wilson wrote, “Prayer is one of the most important aspects of building disciples. If one is to help men grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, he must pray. Indeed if he does everything else right in terms of building disciples, yet fails to pray, nothing significant will happen.”
This statement has followed me for the past thirty years, it’s been a constant reminder to me that all of my planning—when done outside of seeking God’s heart, asking for spiritual wisdom—is powered by my own energy. No wonder I get tired often.
Several weeks ago as Jim spoke on the early church and dependency, he framed dependency as:
- Following God in spite of fear, consequences, or lack of control.
- Trusting God to do things we cannot do ourselves.
- Releasing the future to God while maintaining our responsibility.
In chapter two of the book of Acts we see this amazing sense of excitement and energy within the church. It seems they were dependent on God and each other, and just look at the results.
“…they were continually devoting themselves to teaching, and to fellowship, to communion, and prayer… …with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”
If we have things under control, it’s possible people who need to find Christ are not being added to our numbers day by day. That kind of growth can be chaotic, it can be crazy, but it’s also the kind of spiritual harvest God provides when we are prayerfully dependent to ask God to move and change the hearts of people who are far from him.
Our mission is to help people find and follow Christ. Obviously most of the people who need help to find Christ are going to be people who we know outside of the walls of our campuses. As we are enjoying the energy and excitement of being a part of Richwoods, like the early church, people will take notice when our love for one another changes the way we relate to one another outside the walls of the church. They were Following, Trusting, and Releasing…and they were being faithful to maintain their responsibility as followers of Christ, they were inviting others to find Christ.
Be praying for people who you might invite to an Easter Service this year.
Knoxville Campus Sunday
Knoxville Campus Saturday
On average Richwoods needs to receive $39.1K in gifts to meet its 2017 operating expenses, 10% of which goes immediately to Missions and helping people in our community who are experiencing financial troubles.
If you have questions about the information shared in this fyi, you can contact our Executive Pastor, Joel Dryden by email. You can also leave a comment below.