Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Renewal of the Church
Mr. Alex Thomas & Dr. Susan Alex,
Jackson, Tennessee
16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
 
The word Church is derived from the Greek word, “ek klesia”, which means “an assembly” or “called-out ones”. It is not the building where the believers worship that matters, but the individuals who worship in it. When Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 16:5, “greet also the Church that meets at their house”, Paul talked about the people who worshipped there, not about a Church building.
 
Church Renewal is a term theologians and Church leaders have often used to express their hope for reform and revival of the Church and Christianity in general. The Church is a human structure created in the image and holiness for the purpose of inhabiting the Church of Jesus Christ. Hence it is the temple of the living God. In 1 Peter 1:15, we read, “just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do”. We are expected to be holy, by imitating God, in all the days of our lives, not just when we go to Church on Sundays. In 1 Cor. 3: 16, it is stated that, “do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you”? Hence for the renewal of the Church to take place, it has to begin with the renewal of the individual members of the Church; one by one. Renewal of the individual believers will result in the renewal of the Church.  Mahatma Gandhi stated, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. The motto of our Church is, “lighted to lighten”. In Mathew 5:14, Jesus stated, “you are the light of the world… let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your father in heaven”. “In his book, “Turn Around and Beyond”, the author, Ron Crandall gave the following principles for the renewal of the Church.
1.      Personal renewal: Renewal of the church begins with the renewal of the members of the Church. It may be a conversion moment, answering an alter call, responding an invitation to receive Christ, deepening faith etc.
2.      Corporate Renewal: It usually takes the form of a new cooperation and revival among the believers to fulfill God’s vision.
3.      Conceptual Renewal: In this stage, the people of a congregation receive a new vision of what God wants to do with them.
4.      Structural Renewal: In this case, the church begins to replace the old programs with the new direction that God leads them to.
5.      Musicological Renewal: In this stage the focus of the Church will be more on mission work and also service to the world.
Rick Warren, in his book, Purpose Driven Church, stated that, “if you will concentrate on building people, God will build the Church”. Rick Warren gave a five-part strategy that will enable the growth of the Church:
1) Warmer though fellowship
2) Deeper through discipleship
3) Stronger through worship
4) Broader through ministry and
5) Larger through evangelism.

 
The spiritual renewal of the Church is meant to spread the Gospel. It is by loving, caring and sharing that we will be able to spread the Gospel. In acts 1:8, we read, “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit in us is required to bring renewal and revival.

PRAYER

Dear Lord, May we be a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to You. Please bring a renewal in our lives so that our Church community as a whole will be blessed and renewed. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Lord, make us instruments of Thy peace.