Are You in a Cul-De-Sac Church or a Dead-End Church?by John Burton on December 5, 2019
I am prompted to attach a message from John Burton, and although it is a very busy time of the year preparing for Christmas, I pray that you would make time to read what he has written.
I am writing from my memories of World War II when churches were overflowing with desperate people crying out to God for help to win the war. God answered our prayers when America joined in the fight with us and the enemy was defeated.
During the war, little babies were not put in their cradle to take a nap, they were put in the drawers of solid oak chests of drawers, so that when the bombs started dropping, and homes were hit, the ceilings would not collapse on the little sleeping babies. Can you imagine the heartfelt cries of a mother of little ones trying to protect her children from bombs all alone while her husband was away fighting the war? That was my young mother's job during those terrible war years. Prayer and only prayer is the reason so many of us survived.
Deception is the enemy's greatest weapon, as it was before the beginning of World War II when Neville Chamberlain was deceived into believing the promises of Hitler. Sir Winston Churchill, a Christian man, warned the British Government against Hitler, but they didn't listen to him! GOD is always warning His people of danger--but are we listening? Are we watching the news? Are we aware of our desperate need for GOD's intervention, protection, and revival? Not only for ourselves, but for Israel, too, as well as other countries. During World War II the enemy was 22 miles away across the English Channel--today the enemy is as close as the range of modern weaponry--worse, the enemy is even among us! We simply have to learn to pray and listen to GOD and do only what HE tells us to do in order to overcome all the nefarious schemes and wicked plans of the evil one.
John Burton says it best:
"Even more importantly, get on board with what God has planned in your city. Let your personal endeavors go, as great as they seem to be, and contend with others in your region for an outpouring. Just gather together somewhere, anywhere, with governmental, Kingdom leaders and other revival-minded people and press into God's heart and intercede and advance exactly as God reveals to you as a part of the regional, governmental body. That's church. That's a Kingdom church. That church will turn the world upside down."
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: John Burton <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 04:37:23 PM CST
Subject: Are You in a Cul-De-Sac Church or a Dead-End Church?
Are You in a Cul-De-Sac Church or a Dead-End Church?
Are you willing to let your church die for the sake of Kingdom advance? Or, are you so locked in on local church growth that the region you are assigned to suffers?
Is it possible that the high majority of churches in our nation are dead-end churches? As you continue to read, you'll come to understand that many of the most vibrant, focused and Spirit-filled churches would be considered to be dead-end churches, or it's cousin, cul-de-sac churches.
Millions are assessing the current state of the church in America and the Western world—and they are right—it's in trouble. The church is so far off course that one might wonder if there's hope at all.
While these millions are correct in their analysis, many of them are wrong in their response. They have left the church they have deemed to be in violation of God's design and have isolated themselves and self-identified as “the church” presuming their action moves them closer to revival. It doesn't. (Read my article that addresses this fallacy, “You are NOT the Church : The Scattering Movement.”)
THE GOVERNMENTAL CHURCH IS THE KEY TO REVIVAL
I often write and teach on the church, and my reasoning is simple. It's not because I am advocating for a better, more vibrant and impacting church experience (though I wouldn't be opposed to that). It's because the regional church, and the local churches that make it up, are the governing bodies and the way they function is critical. The church is the authority in the region and unless it's setup correctly, the hopes for revival can begin to fade away.
I'm not saying that a spark of revival can't ignite through small groups of Believer's who are going deep in prayer for, crying out for an outpouring. It absolutely can. Historically it has happened more than once. However, that small group can't govern, can't administrate and can't facilitate the outpouring. While you may argue that no man has any business governing a move of God, you'd be wrong. God has setup the church as a governmental authority that not only has the responsibility but also the ability, if truly consecrated, to push back the enemy, to make room for God and to create healthy, Spirit-initiated systems that both protect what God is doing and promote his activity throughout the region—and beyond.
A DEAD-END CHURCH DEFINED
As I explained above, dead-end churches can be full of life, active in outreach, aggressive in their mission and growing, sometimes very large. This is not the problem. It's the vision and/or the implementation of that vision that can become poisonous.
Simply, if the focus is local church growth ahead of regional Kingdom advance, they have become compromised.
The pastor or governmental leader of that local church must have clarity on the vision, and it absolutely must be centered on regional impact. What this means is that their own desires for local church growth must be set aside as they give their energies to revival in the city God assigned them to.
Drawing and keeping visitors, growing in influence, developing local programs and ministries and other local focuses are put on the back burner, or sometime back on the shelf entirely, as their mandate has them focused regionally. A move of God in their city becomes the main thing.