Heart for the Church

Here you will find various statements of Rich’s theological convictions about the church.

I Desire to Lead the Church Into Being the Church

The Church IS:

The continuing presence of Christ in the world, possessing His full authority to do all that He did in His earthly ministry and more (John 14:12).

Acts 2:42-47 is a crucial model for being  Church:

“They were stubbornly devoted to…”

  • The Apostles’ Teaching

Are we being instructed with authoritative, biblical teaching in the ways of being Jesus’ apprentices?

  • The Fellowship

Are we truly watching out for one another, providing all needs for one another, fighting for one another, showing the world what Jesus’ community looks like when his followers truly love each other?

  • The Breaking of Bread

Is the church sacramental in its worship and life?  The first Christians did not neglect the Lord’s Table—does it have prominent place in our worship?  Do we see our lives as fully infiltrated by God’s Kingdom—his power, presence, and holiness?  Does our worship powerfully lead us to greater union with Christ and with fellow believers?

  • The Prayers

Is prayer truly the center strength of all aspects of church life?  Is it mere decoration in our worship services or does it have prominence and reverberate with God’s power?  Do we strive to listen to God in prayer?  Do we lift one another up in prayer?  Do we intercede for each other through prayer?

  • Signs & Wonders

How will people know the Kingdom is in our midst if the signs of Life Being Restored are utterly absent in our ministry?  Are there those in our midst being healed, delivered from demonic oppression, set free from addictions, restored despite old wounds, restored in their relationships, etc.

  • Joy & Praise Filled

What marks our life together?  Hurriedness and busy-ness?  An agenda?  Indifference & complacency?  Constantly looking for the next spiritual high or cool event?  Doctrinal tidiness?  A code of behavior?   OR do we truly love and enjoy our God and each other in a way that irresistibly draws others?

  • Increasing Numbers of Those Being Saved

If all of the above are in operation, people will be drawn to the Church like the parched to water.  It is another sign of the arrival of God’s kingdom—people being rescued from Satan, sin, and death!

The Church ought not be reduced to:

A mere marketing tool or strategy for church growth.  A program to help families or to assist the poor.  A place to find inspiration for daily living through a particular worship style.  A place for good advice or cool biblical insights.  A “full service” institution responsible for providing programs and activities that will please all groups and sub-groups.  A business where the bottom line is attendance or the number of people who have checked the “received Christ” box on the response card.  A social club where the members have to constantly strive to please a prominent few.  A place that looks little different from the world in its striving to be relevant and friendly.

It is my heart’s deepest desire to lead God’s people into an Acts 2:42-47 kind of vibrant Kingdom life.  The Lord has consistently used the gifts and talents He has given me to provide this kind of leadership.  These gifts and talents include:  communication, teaching, love for worship and prayer, shepherding, leadership, and a constant hunger for greater union with Christ and His people.  The Lord has also untied me with a wife who has the passion, gifts and talents to lead believers into ever greater freedom and strength in Christ.  My wife and I are truly co-laborers in serving the church.

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