What’s a Dead Church Like?

    A paramedic was asked on a local TV talk-show program: “What was your most unusual and challenging 911 call?”
    “Recently we got a call from that big white church at 11th and Walnut,” the paramedic said. “A frantic usher was very concerned that during the sermon an elderly man passed out in a pew and appeared to be dead. The usher could find no pulse and there was no noticeable breathing.”
    “What was so unusual and demanding about this particular call?” the interviewer asked.
    “Well,” the paramedic said, “we carried out four guys before we found the one who was dead.”
    Sadly, that is the state of many churches. I fear that a lot of people attend church out of obligation, habit, or because they think they are earning religious brownie points with God. All around this area, people will be starting to dread this Sunday morning on Saturday and will be thinking up reasons to skip. Others became tired of the boredom and wasted time and energy it took to go to church and gave up attending a long time ago, except on Christmas and Easter, of course.
    Honestly, too many churches aren’t worth going to. That may serve as a shocker coming from a pastor who often declares, “The local church is the hope of the world!” Yes, I do believe that. Jesus himself established the local church to manifest Him in a broken world and to give people hope and fulfillment through the Gospel. But, sadly, not very many churches are actually doing that. Too many strayed from their purpose generations ago and exist now only to perpetuate their own continued existence. The influence and power of God’s Spirit having long departed, lives are no longer changed, people are rarely challenged, and the church accomplishes little. It is the tragic result of drifting from the truth of God’s Word and the power and life given by the Holy Spirit.
    And that cold happen here at The Bridge, as well.
    Here at The Bridge, we are enjoying the work of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives at the Bible is being applied every week, every day, among us. We are seeing people’s lives changed as they receive Christ. People are growing daily in their relationship with God. All of this is exciting, and refreshing if you have ever been part of a church described above.
    But it is up to us to not only keep it that way, but to pursue growth in every aspect of our church’s life, as well as our individual walk with God. Things are wonderful at church now, because God is at work and active in our midst. But the moment we lose our awe of Him and appreciation for what He is doing, as well as dependence on Him for this ministry and our spiritual sustenance, is the moment we will begin to decline.
    We’ve had the paramedics here. But thankfully, they haven’t had to take the pulse of several people to find out who was alive or dead! Here at The Bridge, we are alive and well! And I don’t think anyone would describe our services, ministries, or people as being lifeless. So let’s enjoy it, and trust God to keep us moving forward for generations to come!

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