Article by Joey Ratcliff
We’ve all experienced it. The broken, young man we prayed with at McDonalds… the mother of teens who visited our church and prayed after the sermon… the drug addict who showed up at our office asking for money… they committed their lives to God and started off with excitement and promise, and then they were gone. What happened? How did they slip away? We had a plan, a curriculum, and a class. We took them diapers for their baby. We picked them up for Sunday School and the church picnic. Where did they go? Was it simply due to their lack of commitment, or did we miss something? If there is something we could have done better? Who has the answers to the problem of how to get new believers to stick?
We have the responsibility to make it as hard as possible for Satan to reclaim a soul that has been forgiven and transformed. Is it completely up to us to get someone to heaven? No. (Keeping a soul is ultimately God’s work.) Is any human person the expert on flawless discipleship? If so, I’d love to meet them or read their book! The challenge is not an easy one, but it’s ours to claim. Coming from the challenges and successes we’ve had at the church I help to pastor in Frankfort, here are some strategies we’ve learned for keeping that little lamb from re-escaping the fold.
by Timothy L. Cooley, Sr.
I dream of a Church aflame, purged by the Spirit and purging the society around them, sloughing off the drag of materialism, and singeing the fakers that flutter in imitation of her glory.
I celebrate the progress of “evangelical Christianity," yet I weep for the lack of holiness. I weep for the repeated surveys (at least in the U.S.) that declare that evangelical Christians live exactly like the non-believers around them, and I pray we will not export that kind of empty profession of Christianity to the rest of the world.
by Barry Arnold
The church is one body, but in every local church there are two elements. There are always those who want things a little more conservative and those who want things a little more liberal. There are always issues to be contested and each group reacts against the other until a gap is created that destroys unity. In every church, there is a power structure. Woe to the church when there are two.
We cannot afford the luxury of a party spirit like the political world. We need to pray things to pass, fast, and seek the face of God, not manipulate to fulfill our own agenda.
by Barry Arnold
Perhaps you have heard the story about Satan selling his tools. One simple tool was priced far above all the others. It was a plain, simple wedge. The question was asked, “Why is it so expensive?” Satan answered, “It’s one of my most effective tools; with it, I destroy churches, marriages, and homes. With that wedge, I accomplish my agenda.” One of Satan’s chief ambitions in our homes and churches is to destroy unity.