Thursday, February 4, 2010

Church Transplanting

Haven't seen Jeff in over two years. But we've met up in Durham, NC for a pastor's conference. Many who will be there are church planters, replanters, and revitalizers, so I thought it appropriate that USA Today's cover story this morning was about church replanting.

Or, as Jeff called it, transplanting.

There's a move afoot to physically relocate a 100 year old basilica from Buffalo, New York to Georgia. It will take a lot of time and energy, and a whole lot of money. I encourage you to read the story because it reveals how different people think about the church. Is it a building? Is it a piece of architecture? I love old church buildings... but the church is something so much more incredible.

Our greatest concern is not church planting, but about transplanting the gospel into people's hearts. It's something only the Holy Spirit can do, but it's a joy to be involved on the fringes.

Even though the Spirit does the hard work (and provides the money as necessary, too!), getting caught up in His activity does sometimes feel like ... well, work. Perhaps we forget this. Perhaps it surprises us that serving Jesus is sometimes tiring. But remember that Paul said, "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though not I, but the grace of God that is with me" (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Fortunately, as that verse also indicates, it is never lonely work. Not ultimately, anyway... Not if it's done by the power of the Spirit.

Holy Spirit, work in me, that I may work.

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