Something was not right in the way he sounded. It was like listening to a movie character, the kind you wouldn’t want to hang out with. This was a family member I had known all his life – and yet it wasn’t the same person. What happened next was even worse, as I confronted him with my assessment that he was using.
As a church revitalizer, I’m beginning to see revitalization all throughout Scripture. Nowhere is it more evident in than in the coming of the Messiah. Four hundred years of silence and sameness is suddenly broken when God interrupted the life of a has-been couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth. Then a young teenage girl and her espoused husband Joseph allowed their perfect wedding plans to be trashed.
Revitalization. Seems there is always a new buzz word that’s coming down the pike, but this one is long overdue. Revival is a word that may be worn out by time and history, so revitalization is taking its place.
Maybe it’s for good reason. With so much mission drift, churches today know that it’s going to take more than a week of meetings to fix the systemic problems that plague us. Some estimate 1000 days and major course adjustments are required to truly turn a church around.
New England is a mission field, and it’s important that we not forget it. We rank at the top or national surveys for the least churched and most biblically illiterate region in the nation. I tell people often that we must think like missionaries because the prevalent culture around us is post-Christian. That’s why one of our primary objectives is to reintroduce this culture to the Gospel. As with any mission work with an unreached people group, you need missionaries (either homegrown or transplanted) to go and share Christ in faithfully. Praying, sending and funding missionaries is an ancient practice of the church and is vital to any mission endeavor. Why give to New England Missions Emphasis? Because missions is God’s means of making Christ known to this generation.