Don't you just love misleading headlines? Titles that make you think one way and then suddenly switch over to another way?
Yeah. I don't either.
But here I stand before you guilty of the same crime that has been committed over and over again. So I ask for mercy based on a technicality because there truly is a problem within the Bible Faith Lutheran Church congregations...it's just not what you think.
Today we were able to visit three congregations that were actually in close proximity to each other. Each of them had different kinds of people making up the congregations. But at one point or another, they ran into the same problem: they're getting too big for their churches. One of those churches was able to build a new sanctuary in 2003. Another church has been waiting for 3 years for a new building as people are willing to worship outside due to lack of space. The last church is working through a hostile community in an attempt to obtain land for their new church building. You can see the land in the picture below:
And that is the real "problem" with the Church in India...it's growing. It's getting bigger and bigger everyday. Women, children, men, whole families...they are all coming to be baptized and confess that Jesus Christ is their Savior.
This is a problem...a big problem.
It's a problem for those who claim that Christianity is on the decline. It's a problem for those who claim that Christ is no longer relevant in the lives of people. It's a problem for those who believe that God is not active or at work.
It's a BIG problem...and also a source of encouragement that God is still at work even when it may look otherwise. So keep praying for this problem with the Church in India...and pray that this become a problem for our own church and churches across the globe. And while I might regret saying this later, as you pray ask God how you might become part of the "problem" :)
Please feel free to check out a couple of the pictures below as we prayed over people, presented prayer shawls, and connected with the people of the congregations we visited today!
Pastor Joe Behnke