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  • Dr. Jeff Hessinger

Seeing the church through the eyes of the Lord

I was recently invited to do an assessment of a church in the Orlando area. The church probably has a similar story of so many smaller congregations throughout the nation. They had experienced hard times because for numerous reasons the pastoral leadership became divisive inside the church and publically gave the church some bad press with the community. This church had dropped down to about 12 people. They were doing what they believed best; after all they loved God, each other and their church. It was one of those moments when I wished I rode a white horse to save the day!

They are doing so many good thing right! Teaching the Word, singing praise, walking in love with each other and praying for their community. Their expenses were about equal to their income, often juggling money to make everything work. Sadly, there was rarely money left to do ministry. The thought of fresh mulch in deteriorated flowerbeds, or fresh paint on the front of the porch is just out of the question. The leaders of the this sweet little congregation were looking for answer, seeking hope when all they could see is another year of grinding it out to keep the doors open.

We, Errin and I, sat down with the leaders of the church, which was most of the twelve who were in worship that morning. We had the opportunity to encourage them by helping them see what we believe Jesus sees when He looks into their congregation. Sometimes it’s hard to keep a healthy perspective. We were so thankful to love on each and everyone in someway.

We also offered several suggestions that will help the church replant or restart their ministry. The list was doable and completely reasonable for this group to improve their facilities, identify ways to find money for ministry, create a prayer plan, and so much more. I left very excited about their future. I saw a packed house for worship each Sunday, people coming to faith in Christ, baptisms, more small groups, the hungry being fed, children learning, marriages strengthened, communities being reached with t

he Good News, and so much more!

I love the church. It’s the Kingdom of God here on earth, God’s powerful plan to impact mankind with the Gospel. The local church is God’s custodian for Kingdom work as we await Jesus return. It saddens my heart when I see a congregation struggle. But I understand, over the years I have served churches experiencing many different difficult situations. I believe if the people have a heart for God, for each other and willing to get uncomfortable to actually do the Great Commandment and the Great Commission there is always hope!

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