Critical Questions for “Born-Again Churches”

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I am thinking about how our church might be “born-again.”  As strange as it sounds, we surely believe in such a possibility.  We believe the message of John 3 that we all have the privilege of receiving life from above, which Jesus describes as rebirth.  And, we share a key conviction of the Reformed branch of the family—that the church must be ever reforming.  And, we also belong to a tradition that cherishes the great revivals that have blessed our forebears.  And, most of us have longed and prayed for a fresh visitation of the Holy Spirit in our church.  And, and … and … We do believe in rebirth.  So, why not a church “born-again”?

As members of the larger Methodist family, could we commit to a disciplined process that helps willing people actually become like Jesus and participate in the ongoing mission of Jesus?  Indeed, could we learn to be together as church in a way that carries us toward Jesus-like character and mission?

 

One of the greatest challenges, I think, is to bridge the gap from where we are (which depends on “where we are!” J) to where we need to go (see above paragraph).  We must demonstrate that what we want to do is not new but a rediscovery of historic, biblical, Wesleyan dynamic; that we wish to encourage a restoration movement among us, rebirthing the Church.  Yes, I’ll say it again: the FMC needs to be “born-again, filled with the Spirit, perfected in love, and launched in mission!”  Here are some questions to ponder in the pursuit.

QUESTION: if in some sense we have become “the Church of England” what would John Wesley do?  Or, if we have become "the Methodist Episcopal Church" of our day, what would B.T. Roberts do?  We want to become Wesleyan again, not just in theology but practice!

QUESTION: Could we start a Methodist Movement within the FMC?  What about organizing a “Holy Club”?  We are not lacking in resources or materials to help us.  Who are the seekers, new believers, the desperate, and hungry among us?  They are likely the prime responders to such an invitation.

QUESTION: where are the E.P. Harts among us?  (B.T. Roberts appointed him to “Michigan.”)

What do you think?  How will you pray? 

Comments 3

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    By becoming “Wesleyan” do you mean a church with a passion, a thirst and hunger for being Spirit-filled? Sometimes I get lost with the ‘titles’ 🙂 I see pockets here and there of FM churches being reborn – It excites me! I wonder if we Americans struggle with the suffering that goes side-by-side with knowing the power of God in our lives?

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    If you start a Holy Club, I’m in! Of course, I’m talking about the inward holiness that the FMC began with (and I know you are, too). We are praying for the Holy Spirit to touch hearts, to soften the hardened. We are praying for leaders and pastors to exhort all FM’s toward being spirit-filled. So many FM’s do not even know there is a Holy Spirit, and He is not taught! I believe this is a remnant from the “fear factor” that resulted from Holy Spirit manifestations in the pentecostal bands in the early days of the FMC. And I also know that if I haven’t had the truth worked in my own heart, I really cannot preach it with authority. There is much work to be done, but it must be done in the love of God which has been poured out in our hearts. If we love with God’s actual love, as we go through this awakening time, God will bless, Jesus will rejoice, and the FMC will be clothed with power from on high! Many blessings!

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