Last Summer a few of them had felt something was wrong. People were voting with their feet and empty seats were appearing. They had lost their joy; church had become hard work. They were worshipping God on Sundays through gritted teeth, going through the motions, no sense of God being in the house.
Their pastor had been the first to voice it publicly. Two others were relieved to hear him put in words what they were feeling but been afraid to say. They began to pray about it. Others joined them. They decided to voice it to the whole church and called a members meeting. They decided to start ‘Time for God’ prayer times and set a room up specially for prayer. Like we used to have in our old church in London. Weekly prayer times became daily prayer times. They felt God was saying to them, ‘You rebuild the altar, put me back in the centre, and I’ll build the church’. So like Elijah and Ezra they started rebuilding the altar. They decided to stop all church activities except Sunday worship and Time for God prayer meetings. They did that last October. No Sunday School, no coffee mornings, no play group, no house groups. Just God. Just time for God.
As they rebuilt the altar so he rebuilt them. Church came alive again; it was a joy to go to on Sunday. They felt his touch afresh on their live, felt renewed, and began witnessing to friends and neighbours.
The half empty church is now a three quarters full church. And all they’ve done is rebuild the altar.
There was such joy and serenity on their faces as they recounted all this to me. I was supposed to give a report as to where they should go from here. With tears I said, ‘Just follow Jesus. He’s got His church back. Don’t take it back off Him’.
It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. I want to go there on a Sunday now …God is in the house, His altar has been repaired. Jesus has got this church back, and its brilliant!