Take a moment to search www.amazon.com for any Christian or Church development book and you will come up with thousands of results. Each result will convince you that it’s the tool you should have and that it’s the tool that will make you succeed as a church and as a Christian. Many of the books written today are not very different from the old ones. The new ones just have a new, nicer cover, a catchier title and modern; contemporary, slangish English. All of them have new ideas; ideas that are twenty first century applicable.
I agree that sometimes new ideas are great at fanning the coals back to flame, but they don’t last long if one crucial ingredient is missing – commitment. As a pastor, I also feel the pressure to implement new ideas (and I do), but what I’ve observed is that if you don’t have a continuous flow of new ideas then people are least interested.
The problem you face today is not so much a lack of ideas on how to read your bible, or how to pray or how to fellowship, you have a problem with commitment. Instead of a new idea you need a fresh commitment to pray, to read your bible, or to participate in fellowship.
The lack of commitment you face today is no different from the lack of commitment the early Church faced. See what the writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing…” Look! Even in the early Church there were some individuals who thought they would stay home and watch TBN instead. Even in the early church there were individuals who went to the beach on the Lord’s Day. The early church had individuals who would rather go to a wedding on Sunday morning than come to Church. Going for a weeding on a Sunday morning is what usually happens in my community.
So then, do you need fresh ideas or fresh commitment?!
Ideas are great! I love ideas. Please don’t misinterpret me. I’m not shooting ideas down instead I’m saying, with urgency, that if you think the next new book is going to make your marriage work, make us better parents, make you a loyal follower of Christ, you just may be wrong. All I’m asking you is that you take whatever truth you know now about God and commit yourself to following that truth out in your life. Take whatever truth you know about being a better husband and apply it with sincere commitment to your life. Take whatever truth you have about being an obedient child and commit yourself to following through with obedience. Do this for every area of knowledge and you’ll watch yourself grow.
Commit yourself for eight weeks consistently daily to doing something in obedience to God and you’ll experience unprecedented growth. A new habit will be formed and the thought of turning back to your old ways will make your heart cringe. Fresh ideas? Yes, anytime but without fresh commitment you’ll become a basket case trying to find the make life work.