Nothings changing cause nothings changing

I yearn for the workers to make some changes; not because I feel in any way superior to them now or less than them either. I yearn for them because I still care for so many of them. I yearn for them to quit preaching the system, to quit promoting the ‘way’ and see instead the great responsibility, privilege, power and joy of simply preaching Christ. He is more than enough. In Him is enough subject matter for 1,000 Gospel meetings. The disciples and apostles did not spend their time trying to sell the ministry without a home or the church in the home. They had a story to tell! They had countless stories to tell about the Man of Galilee!

Because of the lifestyle the workers feel they must live, they spend vast amounts of time and energy seeking to justify the rightness of what they are doing rather than sharing their own personal relationship with Jesus and what that means to them individually. The men who started that church based it on two principles that quickly became doctrine and took away from the pureness of the Gospel message. The focus first of all became the ministry rather than The Minister Himself. The rest of the focus was on the place of worship (the meeting in the home) rather than on the One to worship.

I yearn for the workers to also stop preaching and talking about the idea that the only way to heaven is by going to meetings. That is preaching another gospel like Paul was so distressed about with the Galatians. (chapter 1:6) Instead, tell the truth! Tell them that only through believing in Jesus Christ as Savior will you be saved. Stop telling them that the meeting church is the only “right” church. Stop putting that deeply ingrained, in-your-DNA fear in people that they will go to hell if they quit going to meetings because that just isn’t Scriptural.

Instead, tell them the Gospel story in it’s purity and then let go of trying to control or manipulate where the people choose to have fellowship with other believers. Let God through the Holy Spirit direct them. Then, to those who choose to stay in the meeting group (not out of fear, self righteousness or ignorance) use your varying gifts of teaching, exhortation, service, prayer, encouragement to support the people and each other. Build them all up with faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:32)

I yearn for the workers to use their computers, I-phones or I-pads to start reading and immersing themselves in the writings of Christian authors; current and from ages past. Let their words sink deep down in your heart. Let them inspire you. Acknowledge that God has spoken and continues to speak through many men and women and that there is a wealth to be gained from what they have written. It will open up so many new thoughts to you and Scripture will come alive in fresh ways. Do not hide what you are reading from others, but share them openly and encourage others to read them as well. You will be amazed at the vibrancy it will put in the church! Do not be afraid of what others will say; fear of others is what is keeping your group stuck to a large degree. A bunch of workers need to band together and go to the overseers and insist on some changes. So many of the friends and workers are wanting something new and fresh. Would you rather have them lean towards New Age teachings or philosophies of the world or towards more of Christ?

To the dear sister workers, consider getting the ladies in your fields involved in a Beth Moore Bible study once a week. (Beth Moore is a Christian teacher who ministers to women.) There are enough of those studies to keep you busy for a long while and they are profound. I guarantee it will be awesome. Cancel those dry Wednesday night Bible studies and do a group Bible study instead. The friends (and you) will be pouring over the Scripture all week long doing the homework and then once a week you will get together for a couple of hours to discuss what you studied, to have fellowship and then to watch a video session from Beth Moore herself.

I started attending these Bible studies when I first came home and I fell in love with them. I would go out to my car afterwards and cry with joy all the way home because I had finally found what I had longed for from a week night study for years. We shared the Word together, we prayed together, it was informal, it was relevant and we had true fellowship together.

To you brother workers….you could easily ask a couple of the women in your field to organize and purchase the above mentioned Bible studies for the women in your field and then just let them have at it. Get the guys in your field together once a week early in the morning somewhere for breakfast and a informal Bible study. Have the men read “Wild at Heart” by John Eldridge and books by Erwin Raphael McManus for starters.

Stir the pot! It’s ok! Pray night and day to be lead by the Holy Spirit and watch your fields come alive as never before. Doing something new is not a bad thing! You don’t want more than Christ; you want more of Christ. Pursue Him at any cost! I know suggesting these studies and authors is a stretch but stretching is good! When history keeps repeating itself in ways that are not good, a good look at what is not working needs to take place. I truly believe that is what needs to happen within the meeting group. Send revival, Oh Lord!

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7 thoughts on “Nothings changing cause nothings changing

  1. I always enjoy when people mention that they are reading a book by Charles Swindoll. My wife and I get to listen to his teaching every week as we are members of his church. We also had no concept of real, expository bible teaching until hearing Chuck and other wonderful bible teachers at our church. We have been enjoying this for 3 years and feel like we haven’t scratched the surface. It is truly a joy to so look forward to church each week after feeling so empty after meetings in the fellowship.

    We read Chuck’s Grace Awakening 3 and a half years ago and began our journey to freedom in Christ. Our first year at church, we heard Chuck’s freedom in Christ message on July 4th. It finally set us truly free and we talked with Chuck after the service to share what we had been freed from. He and the elder of our fellowship group have been such an inspiration to us.

    If anyone reading this blog comes to, or through, Dallas, please contact us and come to listen to Chuck with us. It would mean so much to us to share fellowship with others who have also walked this path to freedom in Christ.

    Darla, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about how to have even a small part in a revival (great way to say this) of the fellowship. It is so sad to me to see so many of the F&Ws accept the stagnation, and even decline, in the fellowship. The thoughts you shared are spot on. I spoke at length this afternoon with another couple who are struggling in meetings and whether to stay or leave. This is in addition to a close friend here in Dallas who is also in the same struggle. I have been wondering lately if there would be a way to bring together ex-friends and friends who are struggling. A sort of “special meeting” or convention in the Texas/Oklahoma area as well as other areas of the country. I believe this has been done before. I would enjoy other thoughts.

    Ted Carolus
    972-757-5541

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    • Ted,
      Getting a group together like that would be awesome. If it is of God, it will be amazing. It could be structured however you wanted it to be.

      That is wonderful that you actually get to attend Chuck Swindoll’s church! I have read some of his books as well and they are very inspiring as well as solid teaching.

      Darla

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      • Darla,

        I don’t think I have mentioned that the elder (and his wife) of our fellowship group at church went to a gospel meeting with Lynn and me. There is one of the friends in Fort Worth who is an ex-worker and who has come to understand that it is our relationship with God and Christ that is vital, not the form of ministry and worship. He is a close friend and I often meet with him for lunch. He asked me to ask Chuck and this elder (Stan Toussaint, 85 and just retired from Dallas Seminary last Dec.) numerous questions. I felt that he would like to meet Stan but his wife, also an ex-worker, would not be so interested. My solution was for Stan and his wife to attend a gospel meeting and then have dinner together afterwards. This friend and Stan sat across from each other and spent 2 hours discussing the old testament. It was a true joy to see how much this friend enjoyed Stan’s bible knowledge and his countenance.

        This is just another example of one of the F&Ws realizing that there are godly, inspiring people outside of meetings. I pray that we see more and more of this in our lifetimes.

        Blessings,
        Ted

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  2. I feel like you’ve been reading my mind with this post. I gave my husband ‘What is the Gospel’ by Greg Gilbert and told him he had to read it. He’s halfway through and absolutely amazed by what the gospel is. It brings you to your feet in praise and to your knees in thankfulness, and the workers just won’t preach it. I’m looking forward to the day I can exit the Wed night bible studies and participate in the Beth M Bible studies; I dread the dreary Wed night ‘I want to be more faithful’ messages. Really, the format of the fellowship is great but we don’t know how to study and aren’t learning anything and it does just drain the joy out of you.

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  3. Darla,
    Once again you show an uncanny ability to zero in on what is significant! There is so much to appreciate about the F & W fellowship that we left……if ONLY they wouldn’t “major in the minors”!! We had so many friendships that now seem to be lost, and we grieve that. We loved those people and STILL DO!! But their focus needs realignment! As you point out, way too much focus on method, not Jesus! I love what you have shared about Christian authors (outside the fellowship) whose writings offer so much solid scriptural teaching/value. Dennis and I prayed and searched, prayed and searched…….for what seemed so long, and in due time, the Holy Spirit was faithful to lead us to some very green pastures for our souls. We are now reading Charles Swindoll’s book “Jesus, the Greatest Life of All”, and find it amazingly insightful. Jesus’ ministry comes alive to us as we read in proper context, with appropriate background information based on careful research of the scriptures. There is just so much wonderful reading out there; sad to say, we were always discouraged from even picking up those books before!! I am reminded of a (former) brother worker who spent time in our home…he shared one of his books with us and I remember seeing him pull a book from his little bag on wheels and at that time I noticed a lock on the bag….isn’t it sad that he felt he needed to keep his reading under lock and key? We longed for more openness between workers and friends, but that was an indication that he felt his reading needed to be kept private, even from fellow workers. The chapter of the book we have just read deals with Jesus’ words to the Pharisees who castigated Him for healing on the Sabbath. Their evil hearts were more concerned about following their (exaggerated) interpretations of the Law (Sabbath rules) than about relieving the sufferings of others. Talk about focus! Yes, Darla, we too pray that the Lord will send revival!! The insight you have gained along the journey (over a period of years) obviously came from a deep longing for more of Christ Jesus Himself. Your prayers were heard and your longings satisfied through the leading of the Holy Spirit. In like manner, what you now have could be realized within the fellowship if only the begging and turning would begin! But as we have just read in the aforementioned book, Jesus Himself was never able to penetrate the darkness of heart in the Pharisees even with all His power, miracles, perfect living, and amazing teachings. Why? Because they wouldn’t have it. No wonder He wept over Jerusalem…..

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