My encouragement to you, as always, is to continue (or begin) your journey of discipleship to Christ. Read your Bible regularly. Always be on the look out for books that will edify and challenge you. Take what you read and let it shape you in times when you are alone, just you and God. And allow these times to spill over into times when you are with other students of the Word. Together, seek the Lord and study His word and world. Together, share your questions, insights, and experiences. Together, receive the grace of God through fellowship. This is what the ministry of the Institute of Christian Studies has always been about.
Do you have a family? A ministry? A circle of influence? Then, prepare your mind for action! (1 Peter 1:13) Here’s how…
Father, you promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against your church. We want to lift up your children who are being persecuted for your name, that you would protect them, that you would provide for them, that you would empower them for Your name’s sake.
I have personally been blessed to be a part of this group of people, meeting every week to sharpen one another in our thinking and devotion to God. There’s a great spirit of learning among us as we open ourselves up to be challenged by the Holy Spirit through the reading and our responding to it together.
It is difficult to break the habit of being consumers when “church” is being packaged up deliberately as a need-meeting product. We forget that church is supposed to be a Spirit-united family of the faithful growing together and serving one another. Instead, we judge whole congregations on the basis of their pastor’s celebrity and reputation. And we get a certain self-satisfaction when strangers recognize our pastor’s name.