“Is Ephraim my dear son? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will certainly have mercy on him, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 31:20).
“How many times I would have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and you would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matthew 23:37-38).
Almost daily, I hear of churches firing their preachers, engaged in lawsuits, and struggling with inner conflict. I know a hundred churches that were strong a generation ago but are fighting to survive now.
These are difficult days for churches, which makes these challenging days for church leaders.
If you are not grieving for the Lord’s church these days, it must be because your mind is on other things.
Let us care for what is happening, and pray for the Lord’s people….
–I grieve for the trendy church which is drawing people in from the smaller surrounding congregations and bursting at the seams, but leaving the smaller ones to shrivel and die. The huge church often cons its members into thinking they are doing something for the kingdom since they are experiencing such growth. Churches can be so self-centered. Pray the church will be loving toward other churches.
–I grieve for the church which is having mind-staggering growth but becomes secretive about what it does with the millions of dollars it takes in, protective about the pay it gives its leaders, and dismissive about the questionable personal lives of its leadership. Churches can be carnal. Pray the church will be led by men and women of integrity.