Undertakers, Caretakers or Risk Takers?

21 Oct
Eifion Watkins at Ammanford Evangelical ChurchLast Sunday it was our joy in Ammanford Evangelical Church to welcome another local pastor into our pulpit. Eifion Watkins is a man who planted a church in his retirement. And they say church planting is a young mans game!
We were encouraged and challenged by his message (which you can get from the church website). Here’s my notes from his sermon:
Fundamentally there are 3 types of churches:
The Undertaker church. This church lives entirely in the past. You’ll often hear these churches speak of the ‘glory days’.What a shame. It’s wrong to spend too much time dwelling on what’s gone before or what’s worked before. Rather we should wake up and realise that we live in the today. Our message must remain the same as in those glory days, but it needs to be relevant to the days we
live in. I.e. it’s the same thing but in a new way. This is also true for individual Christians. We can’t live in our spiritual past, instead there is always new stuff to learn about God…for eternity. Ultimately it’s impossible to serve God yesterday. Rather we serve God in the present and plan to serve Him in the future.
The caretaker church. This church only looks at the present. It is well and truly stuck in ‘maintenance mode’. The catchphrase of caretaker churches is ‘holding our own’. It’s equally wrong to only live in today, if we do we are like the pig that doesn’t look further than today’s meal and inadvertently ruins tomorrows provisions. Simply thinking about today will cause an over emphasis on today’s service rather than what the church could achieve in the future’.
The Risk-taking church. This church believes the best is yet to come. Naysayers will tell you that your too old, too out of touch etc. The truth is we won’t take risks if were scared of failure. But, if we’re scared of failure we shouldn’t start anything anyway! Are we willing to look to the future, to take risks because we have a vision and faith in God. Noah is a great example. He was called to do something he didn’t know how to do, to avoid something he’d never seen or heard on. Yet he did it because he believed in the Word of God.
Which are we as a church?
Are we satisfied with just coming to church, as if to say ‘I’m saved so who cares’ ? If that’s out attitude it would be better for our church to be a warehouse! A task without a vision is a drudgery yet a vision and a task is the hope of the world.
Regardless, the church is here for one thing, to reach the lost. If we won’t do it as a church God will rise up another church. The purpose of the church isn’t to make us holy, Christ’s return will do that. God has a mission, will we be part of it? Church isn’t attractive to people…but Jesus is attractive! Tell them about Jesus!!! We need to be ambassadors for Christ, living winsome lives, making Christ as appealing as he truly is.
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