NETWORD

PROVERBS FOR THE 21st CENTURY CHURCH
by John E. Ruffle

John shares on church growth and leadership issues; Selling our Children Short and more, in these quotable quotes.

Section #1: ON NOT HAVING CHURCH AS USUAL

1.1 Church: Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! There’s a multitude outside our buildings crying out for help. But we’re not hearing them through our cozy, sound-insulated walls.

1.2 Jesus said that HE would build His church. For the local church to genuinely reflect this truth, we need to learn what it means to be a living, growing organism, and relegate dead organizational structure to the architecture of the past.

1.3 The only church architecture genuinely worth blowing the budget on is people, people, people!

1.4 Instead of counting bums on seats, try measuring the size of your church by the number of people in your community still on the OUTSIDE of the Household of Faith.

1.5 Try building with some LIVING stones today!

Section #2: ON LEADERSHIP WITH VIRTUE

2.1 The leader is to be the front-runner, always on the edge of risk.

2.2 A true leader in any field will risk his or her life to protect those who follow.

2.3 A leader may have many sermons, but has only one message.

2.4 Your message isn’t what you preach, it’s what you live.

2.5 Church: Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Church members inside our buildings are crying out for help. But they are drowned out by the cry from the pulpit for “more programs, more growth and more commitment!”

2.6 As Jim Durkin used to warn, adding the words “But We Know” to Scripture is a short-cut to failure.

2.7 Don’t ask people to support your programme. The programme should be supporting God’s people.

2.8 Be a servant to the people, not a slave to the programme.

Section #3: ON SELLING OUR CHILDREN SHORT

3.1 In a sinking ship, it’s always women and children first. Why is it any different in the Body of Christ?

3.2 No parent would sit at home and only feed the adults. Yet the local church does it all the time.

Section #4: ON PERSONAL GROWTH

4.1 Christian faith is all about relationships - not religion.

4.2 The difference between a convert and a disciple is the difference between a baby and a full grown adult. Well, at least an adolescent!

4.3 As Christians we are called to follow a Man, not a doctrine.

4.4 Idealism is great, but obedience is better.

4.5 Being a praise person means worshipping God in the gap between Sundays.

4.6 Doctrine can be believed - but cannot be LIVED until mixed with the richness of Christian fellowship to be found only in real, every day relationships.

4.7 The difference between success and failure is the difference between knowing something and DOING something.

4.8 It’s not possible to be ruled by reason and to also live by God’s Word.

4.9 What we believe does not protect us from sin. Only vital and living relationship with Jesus Christ can do that. He alone is our “strong tower” and in the day of temptation, we need to make a bee-line for Him!

4.10 Sadly, many Christians may not want to follow Christ once they understand the price involved.

Section #5: FROM THE MEDIA:

5.1 EVIDENCES OF SIN: I heard an interesting comment on a secular television documentary recently. A Brazilian anthropological researcher studying ancient American cultures was saying, in essence, that she could find no evidence of any violent acts by humans against their fellows until around 9,000 years ago. Then, the unmistakable and terrifying hallmarks of violence suddenly appears. Although the exact dating may be questionable, it is interesting that this scientist uncovered evidences that support the sudden appearance of original sin.

5.2 MORE EVIDENCES OF SIN: If you missed the documentary mentioned above, for a wealth of indisputable modern day evidences of sin, just go to your downtown area on a Friday or Saturday night and have church in the open air.

5.3 BASIC CHRISTIAN COMMITMENT: During a recent interview on London’s Premier Christian Radio, a respected pastor whom I know spoke of “basic Christian commitment”, equating it with “being in church on Sundays.” Although only said in passing, it does raise a question that nurses, bus drivers, firemen and an increasing number of shop assistants might like answered: Does that make shift workers “less committed”? And more importantly, it raises food for thought:

  • Shouldn’t we be encouraging people to BE the church-
    ..seven days a week?
  • Now THAT’s what the 21st Century church is all about!
    Stay Blessed - Johnny

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This edition of NETWORD Copyright 1999 by John E. Ruffle, London, England. All rights reserved.

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