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This has to be one of the most powerful pieces on the local church I’ve ever read.

US-RELIGION-FEATURE

Source: JEWEL SAMAD / Getty

The Beauty of the Church

by Ryan Romeo

There is power and significance in the local church. We may not feel it. We may not see it or hear about it. But it is there.

The local church is the greatest movement the world has ever seen, and you and I are at the center of it. 

It’s easy to be discouraged about polls and opinions. It’s easy to be swayed by the words around us into believing that the church is dying and irrelevant. But that perspective does not line up with God’s reality.

There is significance and greatness in the church that doesn’t come from numbers, or political influence, or cultural relevance. No amount of blog articles, podcasts or books can diminish the greatness of the local church because that greatness is bestowed to us straight from God. And it is irrevocable.

We were a couple months away from introducing the world to OUTCRY, and Shane & I were in California, working on our first promo video. We had been working on it for weeks. Trying to pour our heart and vision for the tour into a promo video less than two minutes long. It was not easy. And as we sat to review our first draft, we all realized the video wasn’t right. The copy for the voiceover needed to be redone, and we were quickly running out of time. Not good. It was a responsibility that weighed on my shoulders, and I was feeling the pressure.

But as I went back to my hotel and began to write, I felt a surge of creativity and began to furiously type word after word. Suddenly I wrote a line that stopped me in my tracks. It was bold and so contrary to what I’ve been told that I knew it must be from God. It made me feel hesitant to write the words, but as I did it awakened a deep sense of excitement in me. As if I had written something that carried an ancient, hidden truth. Not based on what I experienced on the outside, but what I knew to be true on the inside.

She is not dying.
She is not in decline.
Her best days are ahead. 

Something about that moment seemed prophetic to me.

As I wrote those words, I could hear the realist in me say: “Ryan, she is in decline! Haven’t you read all of the stats about the exodus of people from the local church? Don’t stick your head in the sand! You have to confront reality!”

But in that moment, I felt something shift in me. In my perspective.

I was not seeing the church through my own eyes. I began to see the church as Jesus sees her: loved, forgiven, diverse, messy yet beautiful.

And contrary to what we’ve been told, she is around to stay.

THE REST HERE

(Source: churchleaders.com & blackchristiannews.com)

 

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