Wednesday, July 13, 2011

13 Characteristics of a Growing Church: Stability

If you have ever been inside the church walls for more than a few hours then there's a pretty good chance that you have heard someone talk about burnout. Why is that? Too often we as Christians and church members get too busy and too over-committed to doing stuff. All the stuff--even good stuff--can pull you away from God and from the fire of your faith. Therefore you get tired and you simply have nothing left to give. That's when you experience spiritual "burn out". You literally lose your spiritual fire and your desire to serve God. Today we are going to talk about keeping that fire (spiritual fervor) burning strong.

So here's a quick recap of the Characteristics of a Growing Church:
1st Love Genuinely
2nd Hate What is Evil
3rd Cling to What is Good
4th Devoted to One Another
5th Humility
6th Excitement

The 7th characteristic of a growing Church is Stability.
"Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord." Romans 12:11 NIV

Think back to what I was just saying when I talked about spiritual burnout. Picture this... if you taken a hug glowing ember from a fire it is bright and white hot, but the longer it stays out of the fire the colder and dimmer it becomes. It's the same with us. You have to keep yourself in the fire if you are going to "keep your spiritual fervor". I'm going to call this stability.

Stability is all about being stable. You aren't up and down like a rollercoaster. You aren't in and out of church on a whim. You are doing everything you can to be consisten and consistently remain in Christ. As Christians, we are our own worst enemies when it comes to stability. We let our emotions keep us angry with our Christian brother or sister so we will skip church so that we don't have to see them. Or maybe we have allowed ourselves to be drawn into too many different ministries or areas of service and now we are angry and bitter toward the church or just plain numb.

If we are going to be stable Christians who can keep our spiritual fire and passion for God then we are going to have to start by taking care of ourselves. Fires that aren't fed die. You can't stay on fire for Christ if you aren't spending time with Him on a daily basis! No exceptions! You have to fan that love for Jesus and feed it with the Word and prayer. By not doing your quiet times you are pulling yourself away from the spiritual fire (Christ). The same goes for church--be there! Other Christians are meant to build us up and encourage us. You don't have to go to church and be fake. You should be real and honest. I know that sometimes that can be really painful and people don't always understand but some of them will. Then you will be surprised in the ways that God uses those understanding individuals to meet your needs and it's all because you were real. Lastly, learn how to say "No!" By all means, if you feel like God is calling you to serve in a certain area then do it, but a need does not necessitate a call. Just because there isn't a pre-school Sunday School teacher doesn't mean that you should be the one to take it over--especially if you already have a lot on your plate. Pray about it. If God says, "serve" then serve. If not then leave the opportunity open for the person God is calling to fill it.

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