Ezekiel 37 depicts a very vivid scene of a Valley of Dry Bones.
This was a vision God gave to the prophet, Ezekiel. God was alluding to a devastated and scattered Israel. A seemingly hopeless situation for God’s people.
Not only was God able to restore Israel, He was going to!
Israel’s issues were sin, idol worship, etc. They had taken for granted God’s blessing and strayed from Him as their focus. They were in essence leading themselves. They were scattered. They no longer looked like God’s people. Their lives were fruitless and there seemed to be no hope that anything would change.
This sounds like some of our churches today, doesn’t it? I know that’s a hard statement to swallow, but its true. I’ve served in these churches. Their vision, direction, and purpose are vague. Spiritual engagement as a community of believers is often absent outside of Sundays.
If your church resembles what I’ve just described (whether you are the pastor or simply a member), there is hope! This is not God’s will for His church. You might be asking, “What is God’s will for my church?” Great question! And I don’t know….but God does. Ask Him. There may need to be a significant change in the leadership, structure, mission statement, and current ministries of your church. If so, there are two huge questions that need to be answered.
1. What are those changes? Survey your community. Visit other churches (and yes, even those not in your denomination) that are growing and making a difference in their communities. Read some newer books on leadership. And if you’re really bold…have a third party ministry coach come and do a thorough evaluation of your church that includes a follow-up consultation.
2. Are we willing to act in faith and make these changes? This is more difficult than determining the changes. But let us be reminded that ‘faith without action is dead.’ (James 2:26) It’s worth the risk of stepping out into the abyss of the unknown. Sure, it can be hard moving forward not knowing (or able to tell the church) what the future looks like. The alternative, however, is to continue saying ‘no’ to God. And that, my friends, should scare us right out of our pews!
Is your church looking dry and lying hidden in a valley? If so, what (after reading this blog) will be your next step toward restoration?
On the other hand, is your church healthy and active in Kingdom work throughout the week? If so, take a moment to share how and what is happening there…so that others can see that there really is hope! Leave a comment.