Newness, not novelty

One open secret of church life and growth is house groups, or cells, church in homes, etc. If the Holy Spirit life is flowing and new people are coming and finding the Lord, then everyone loves it, and God is glorified. It’s as simple as that.

Then why do we have lots of groups but not often that sense of life and growth? What is missing? What is needed?

People naturally cool off as things become familiar and predictable. We don’t expect much so that’s what we get.

One response to this is to make changes and do something different: go out to someone else’s house, have a meal, watch a video, join a church project. But this is just novelty. It may make us enjoy something different, but it isn’t the fire of God. Even having new friends along won’t itself be more than a novelty without God’s presence and work.

What we need is newness, not novelty. God’s life is always new and fresh. It always wakes us up and stirs our hearts. His living word is never dull or simply the same as before. The spiritual gifts used in the Spirit’s life and faith generate newness. Prayer that connects with God brings renewal.

Where do we start? Probably desire, or weariness with ‘more of the same’. Search out God and His word, seek His face in prayer, agree to reach into His life.

Someone once remarked that the only reason we don’t have revival is because we are content without it. Yes, we are too comfortable. Newness is exhilarating, even heart-breaking, but rarely comfortable. Can we be disturbed that much?

 

If you’ve got to the end of this article and you’re thinking “yes, but…” or “no, because…” write your “yes but” or “no because” in the comments below.

I am a member of Jesus Fellowship Church and have lived in Christian community since 1975. I have coordinated the Prayer Watch since 1982 when it started, with help from friends.

  • Steve Jones

    Well spoken. I reckon that we are in a time of God’s shaking as never before maybe in our lifetime. The object of the shaking is to cause us to cling on to the Unshakeable, to become people of faith. Certainly where I want to be.