The Dead Church...a Word from our Father

Published on 26 October 2022 at 19:51

The Dead Church...a Word from our Father

Patricia Ann  10/26/2022

It is unfortunate that we see so many closed churches today.  As people stopped gathering to worship together, most also stopped tithing, stopped giving to the church, stopped giving to God. Without people sewing into a church or ministry, it is nearly impossible for bills to be paid, heat and electricity to be paid or the property to be maintained.  When communities fail to walk through the church doors, fail to uphold ministers and congregations in prayer spiritually as well as financially, we see what we perceive as dead churches...those denominations, ministries or pastors that had a vision to serve the Lord but were met with unforeseen circumstances, lack of support, or complete apathy from nonbelievers.

When I stood in my living room sometime mid morning on January 8, 2009, I answered a call from my Lord.  I was online searching for a school of ministry to study Christian counseling.  I had known for quite some time that counseling was something I wanted to do, but the worldly counseling that I saw just didn't "fit" me somehow.  My search for the right fit was satisfied as the short video I watched ended with a white  dove flying right before my eyes.  And it was as if it came right into the room with me!  The Holy Spirit was there in my midst.  God was calling my heart to Himself with such a force that all I could do was say, "Yes!" 

I remember telling my Lord, "Yes! I will go wherever you want me to go! I will do whatever you want me to do! I will say whatever you want me to say! And I will be who You called me to be!"  I had tears.  I had tears flowing down my cheeks and a strange feeling,  as I felt God take me in that moment unto Himself. It was like a poof! It was like a strike of a match! And my Lord lit me on Fire!  

I was afraid for a moment.  I wondered, "What did I just do?" But I knew!  I had given myself to my Lord, surrendered to the call upon my life, surrendered unto my anointing.  And my life changed forever! 

You might think that means that everything in my life fell into a wonderful, peaceful existence. But, it did not!  

I soon began to discover my anointing.  I began to discover what it means to walk in this anointing.  I discovered separation, rejection, scoffing, mocking and hatred. I learned about the Pharisees. I learned about Job. I learned about  love,  unconditional and powerful!  I experienced fear and I learned new strength. And I cried and I often wanted to run away and hide like Elijah did.  I most often had nowhere to go. I had no prayer partners, and people turned their backs on me...even family and those I considered my friends.  But through it all, I had Jesus. I had His word, His truth, His love, His protection, and many Angels sent from Heaven to help and always the Holy Spirit to guide me along the way.  I am still learning. I am still walking. I am still in awesome love with my Lord and so close to Himself.  And lately, I have been hearing, "Never give up!  Never, ever give up!"  I take this as wonderful words of encouragement  from God.  He knows the plans He has for me, plans that I do not know the specifics of until He lets  me know, until He sets the appointment at the precise time to fulfill the promise He has for me or someone else.  

I have been on many appointments since that day January, 8, Independence Day, the day I surrendered to my Lord's calling on my life.    My Lord has awed me in His presence, knowing that He sent me to specific children of His who were in great need.  I have delivered messages of hope, messages of life, and messages of His divine healing upon a person's body.  I have stood in awe of my Lord at the knowledge of His Angels' presence and guarding me in some dark places He sent me to.  And I have stood in utter amazement at the beauty of His creation, at sunrises and sunsets, at the tiniest of bugs... dragonflies, dandelions and most importantly to me...the grandness of the beautiful, and majestic eagles that my Lord has sent to minister to me. The day and weeks after my best friend went to be in heaven with Jesus, the eagle was in the same tree every morning and I just knew the presence of my Lord and that my friend was with Jesus. many times I have driven down the road and saw an eagle  swoop low  in front of my car and lead the way for a few hundred feet.  That's my Lord reminding me to follow Him!  And so many days they just make themselves known when I am feeling down and God reminds me of the strength He has placed inside of me. 

It is true that the Lord will never leave us or forsake us!  

So, in writing about the "dead church," I will mention my testimony of my church... His church.  

After I surrendered to my Lord's calling and anointing on my life on my Independence Day, I began to know in my spirit that I would have a church one day.  I really did not know how or when that would be possible.  I felt inadequate, small really and I felt kind of shy.  I had always been kind of shy for my entire life.  I was a watcher, I guess. I watched and saw and interpreted my surroundings.  Looking back now, I can see how that was always part of my calling.  Back to the church testimony.  Well, one day...God did give me a church. He allowed me to buy a church in a small town.  Oh, my!  What a beautiful little church with high ceilings and stained glass windows  that sent a beautiful array of His colors shining throughout the sanctuary, with a warmth that could only be of His pure, sweet love and presence.  And... the beautiful architecture of the high ceiling in God's house allowed for singing that His angels readily joined in, especially as God's anointed children came to sing with us.  You see, the adults in the town refused to come to church and refused to sing with us.  But,  as only the Lord knew, my appointment was with the children...His little children.  They yearned to be in His sing worship songs from the old time gospel hymnals.  I watched the children change.  I watched them grow and they watched me.  I knew they were watching me love my Jesus and love them, too.  

I loved singing in that church.  In fact, I most often tell people that I learned to sing in that church...praising my Lord.  Many times it was just me and Himself, as I opened the hymnal to page after page of His songs and sang until I was hoarse. I just kept singing!

I also learned to preach in that church!  Most of the time, nobody came to Sunday morning church. 

I learned that it was okay.  You see, God told me to preach anyway!  He told me to preach to the wind and He would carry the message to where it needed to be.  So, I preached on Sunday mornings to an empty church! 

I preached on Sunday evening to an empty church! I preached often.  I preached every time God called me to preach.  I preached to the wind and I knew and still know that God carried His message into the streets and into  the homes and into cars on the highway and onto the playground and into workplaces.  I just know that God did...because He said He would.  And I just know that God loves us all so much that He needs us to go wherever, do whatever, say whatever and be whoever He called us to be.  We are a necessary part of the Kingdom of God. 

One day, I helped a man name Steven in the church.  As we prayed, Steven stood before the Cross at the front of the church.   Jesus presented Himself to Steven and Steven was healed! I will never forget the presence of the love of our Lord in the church that day!  And Steven's eyes...they shined with love as he looked at the Cross.  And I saw! I saw that Steven was okay.  Steven was better than okay!  Praise God for He is good and His love endures forever! 

Well, as God sets our appointments, I didn't get to stay in that little church. 

I didn't get to stay and sing with the children or preach to the wind in the empty sanctuary.  I didn't get to continue to sing to my heart's content those old time gospel songs in the presence of the Angels and my Lord. 

I was led to leave and I did. As always, God provided a way for my next assignment.  And I look back and remember the day He instilled into my heart that He would take me from Glory to His His timing.

The church has sat empty for several years since I left.  As I was led to drive  by the church last week,  I saw it sat there... desolate and empty.  The church yard was overgrown with foliage and untrimmed trees.  My heart sank a little, but I know that God knows the hearts of man.  I know God knows what to do with His House, His church.  

In my spirit I heard, "Dead church."  I heard..."many of My churches are dead."

I have pondered that.  Does "dead church" just mean an empty building? 

Or does "dead church" mean that the hearts of men, women and children have grown cold? 

Does it mean that communities won't support a local church, so that it can be open and cared for as the beautiful House of God it was created to be...?

Does "dead church" mean there isn't  a willing worker of God... willing to go into the sing with just the children or preach to the wind?  

Or...Do churches have to be recognized mega churches filled with unsound doctrine and lacking the presence of God but touting the numbers of man?  

I ponder....

But, is it really about a building at all?   Isn't it really about obedience? Is it about a community coming together to praise and worship God anywhere and everywhere?  Aren't we called to be the church alive, with Christ living inside each of us, as we go about our day...knowing that He knows where He needs us to be?  He knows the plans He has for us...  for God's people to  go wherever, do whatever, say whatever and be whoever He calls them to be.

I wonder... are you and I willing to "be the new and improved willing church" for the days to come?

I was afraid for a moment.  I wondered, "What did I just do?" But I knew!  I had given myself to my Lord, surrendered to the call upon my life, surrendered unto my anointing.  And my life changed forever! 


My prayer for today... Father God,  May we all be willing to preach, to minister Your truth and love. May we preach often.  May we  preach every time You call us to preach.  May we preach to the wind and know that You, Father God, carry Your message into the streets and into  the homes and into cars on the highway and onto the playground and into workplaces. 

May we just know that God will...because He said He would.  And may we just know that God loves us all so much that He needs us to go wherever, do whatever, say whatever and be whoever He called us to be.  May we know that we are a necessary part of the Kingdom of God.    May we all become the church fulfilled and alive in Christ Jesus. Love and blessings to all in Jesus Name. Amen.



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