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Bearing Fruit

Do we use our imaginations enough when we think about our churches? 

When asked to re-imagine what church could be - do we simply imagine our local church denomination - exactly like it is currently (in structure, form, and shape) but with 25% more attendees and a 33% bigger budget? Or are our imaginations more limited even than that? Can we only imagine a church that is treading water - holding steady?

We need to think bigger, using the God given gift of our imaginations, to imagine what church could be, what church already is if we stopped to look.

What’s described in Ezekiel is not a caged bird looking at a mirror… it is expansive boughs wide enough and strong enough that every kind of bird can live there.

Are we re-arranging mirrors in the birdcage when we should be opening the door?

How can we develop and adapt church so that an ever wider variety of birds can rest there? And not just birds, lions, tigers, bears!

Let’s take an inventory of our resources, let’s look around our local communities, let’s keep imagining.

 

Dear God,

Help us to expand our arms out wide

like the boughs of an expansive tree.

Help us make room where a variety of nests

and dens,

can settle and form.

Let’s re-imagine church and re-imagine our part in it.

Amen.

Ezekiel 17: 22-24

22 Thus says the Lord God:

I myself will take a sprig
    from the lofty top of a cedar;
    I will set it out.
I will break off a tender one
    from the topmost of its young twigs;
I myself will plant it
    on a high and lofty mountain.
23 On the mountain height of Israel
    I will plant it,
in order that it may produce boughs and bear fruit,
    and become a noble cedar.
Under it every kind of bird will live;
    in the shade of its branches will nest
    winged creatures of every kind.
24 All the trees of the field shall know
    that I am the Lord.
I bring low the high tree,
    I make high the low tree;
I dry up the green tree
    and make the dry tree flourish.
I the Lord have spoken;
    I will accomplish it.

 
Comments

By Annie, 3 months ago

This is an excellent series, long overdue for the Church of Scotland. I hope and pray that enough folks take this on board and ‘think outside the box’, to use a hackneyed expression. Maybe ‘think outside the church walls/Sunday service regime’ would be more appropriate. The majority of the CofS has at least 50 years of catching up to do if we’re to reach out to the 2 missing generations - in some cases, 3 missing generations - to bring the good news of Jesus. I’m a granny 5 times over, and sadly I’m one of the ‘younger ones’ in my fellowship. However, I’m pleased to say that things are slowly changing in my kirk, so anything is possible! We all need to have a foundation of prayer in our communities and churches, and then things will really start to happen…  Thank you James and Albert for kick-starting the New Year with this particularly encouraging series.

By Angus Grant, 3 months ago

I was deeply struck by something that was said to me a few months ago that has lots of resonances with this series - God builds the church, we are merely called to make disciples or bear witness (as was pointed out earlier this week).  Enabling - we’re not responsible for building the church - and challenging at the same time.

By Jim steel, 3 months ago

Excellent clarity…...use our imagination…or loose the status quo

By Jim steel, 3 months ago

The churches we currently have were created by man…good, bad, or indifferent.
If our church add deciples i,m delighted to give credit to God , however what we do,
And how we do it within out chuches has chased away the Masses over the years…
Time to reimagine what we can create within our church, with gods guidance.






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