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Jesus said that His followers would be the light of the world. In many churches, however, the light is growing dim and about to die. Our Lord also warned that if we do not love Him passionately and serve Him zealously, He will turn out the lights (Rev.2:5). We can have a name that we are alive, but in reality be spiritually dead (Rev.3:1). The call of Christ is "Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.... Remember...hold fast and repent..."(Rev.3:2-3).

I just returned from a two day conference in Atlanta sponsored by our North American Mission Board. We discussed revitalization--how churches that have plateaued and are in early stages of decline may see revival. The major thrust of the training, however, was to find churches that are in a terminal state and seek to replant a healthy work where the light of Gospel witness has gone out. Though the people may be few, they may want to still have a light in their community and honor the legacy of past efforts. They just have neither the energy or resources to see that happen. Of course, we know that with God all things are possible. Ezekiel saw a valley of dead bones come to life. While it is possible for a church at low ebb to experience a resurrection, it is probable that if they continue as they are, the decline will bring death.

Are you willing to examine the health of your church currently? Are you willing to look at the trends honestly? I would be glad to lead you in that examination. Feel free to contact me.

Yours For Being a Light,

Dennis Thurman, AMS

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