Here is an excerpt from my newest book, Resurrecting a Dead Church, which should be available soon:
Most of us are familiar with the story of the tortoise and the hare. The tortoise and the hare decided to race. This seems like a foolish race for the tortoise since the hare was extraordinarily fast and the tortoise was extraordinarily slow. Once the race started the hare bolted from the starting line like a flash of lightning jumping way ahead of the tortoise. The hare eventually darted so far ahead of the tortoise that he decided to stop for a while and take a nap. The tortoise, however, kept pressing on and eventually won the race because the hare stayed in his slumber far too long. This story sounds a lot like the church of Sardis, doesn’t it?
Just after Jesus counseled the church of Sardis to, “Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die,” He rebuked them stating, “For I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God.” They had a task to complete. It was time for them to awake from their slumber and finish the race. If they didn’t wake up soon the things that remained would die, and they, like the hare, would lose.
Not only are many churches failing to have a Gospel ministry, and strengthen it, they are failing to equip the church to share the Gospel as well. By failing in this, they are failing to complete the deeds God has called them to. Remember, the purpose of God’s called is, “For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13).