Hello again. Sorry I have been away for such a long time…
In my younger days, I used to read a fair amount of stuff by Bill Hybels, the pastor at Willow Creek. I have not read anything by him in a long time — not sure why that is?
Anyway, I picked a book off of his, of my shelf this week — Courageous Leadership:
The book has really challenged me, and blessed me at the same time. I am not sure if I agree 100% with everything he says about the local church, but the vast majority of it — is great stuff.
Here is a one quote that especially gripped me. He is talking about working with people in Washington D.C. :
Ã¢â‚¬Å“What I discovered was not how powerful those people are, but how limited their power really is. All they can do is rearrange the yard markers on the field of life. They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t change a human heart. They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t heal a wounded soul. They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t turn hatred into love. They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t bring about repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace. They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get to the core problem! Businessmen can provide sorely needed jobs. Wise educators can teach useful knowledge of the world. Self-help programs can offer effective methods of behavior modification. Advanced psychological techniques can aid self-understanding. And all this is good, but can any of it truly transform the human heart?
I believe that only one power exists on this sorry planet that can do that. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the power of the love of Jesus ChristÃ¢â‚¬â€?the love that conquers sin and wipes out shame and heals wounds and reconciles enemies and patches broken dreams and ultimately changes the world one life at a time. And what grips my heart every day is the knowledge that the radical message of that transforming love has been given to the church.
This means the future of the world rests in the hands of local congregations like yours and mine. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the church or itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lights out. Without churches so filled with the power of God that they canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help but spill goodness and peace and love and joy into the world, depravity will win the day; evil will flood the world. But it doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to happen that way. Strong, growing communities of faith can turn the tide of history.Ã¢â‚¬?
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out, that it caused me to think about Kairos & what we are trying to do – through the power of God, to advance the Kingdom out here.
…great thoughts — especially the last… ‘Strong, growing communities of faith can turn the tide of history‘
Pray for us — that that would be more & more a reality here in the middle of L.A.