Instead of focusing on external elements, Western churches must shift from “more effort” to “more Jesus” to truly bring the fullness of God’s power to a dying world, Keri Ladouceur, a pastor at Vineyard Christian Church, advises.
During the opening session of the Exponential Conference held in Washington, D.C., Ladouceur delivered a message titled “Made for More.” The theme of her message focused on Ephesians 1, which reads, in part: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
Ladouceur contended that Western churches are “obsessed” with the idea of “more.”
“More better, more bigger, more faster,” she said.
Some pursuits of “more” are good, she clarified, adding: “This desire, this search, this longing for more, comes straight from our Creator. … Many of us know, deep down, that we were made for more.”
But God’s desire for the Church, she said, is “undoubtedly bigger than the visions any of us could dare to dream.” The pastor said there’s a “foundational shift” churches need to take hold of — or risk “not being in the game” within a few decades amid a nationwide decline in church attendance.
To grasp the power the Apostle Paul identifies in Ephesians, she said, church leaders need to move from “more effort” to “more Jesus.”
“That power that undermined the power of darkness … is available to us,” she said. “The power that God used to place Jesus Christ at His right hand in the heavenly realms is available to us today … it is power through Christ to overcome anything.”
Ladouceur encouraged listeners to live as if they actually believed they could grasp this power.
“When we truly believe what we profess, we are set to act as if it were true,” she emphasized. “The power is at work in ways we can’t fully comprehend or see … whose power are you operating in?”
“When we build our churches in light of accomplishing our vision. If this is about, ‘all of you exist to do my thing,’ that’s not mobilization; that’s objectification. When we build our churches in a way that says, we want to go out and do Christ’s things, that’s mobilization.”
Far too many church leaders fall into the trap of operating by the “physical world,” Ladouceur said.
“We must begin to recognize some of the haphazard rhythm of our ministries; the hallow goals that can stand at the center,” she contended. “We have the invitation to orient around a different center. The only thing that we can choose is more power … when I move from more effort to more Jesus, they can’t get enough of what He does.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett