(Which of the seven churches in Revelation does your church identify with the most?)
Sardis - The church that has a good name; cautioned to fortify itself and return to God through repentance (3:2-3).
For the past year my church has had an interim pastor who amongst other things, has taken on the challenge of supporting our efforts to find a new pastor. This season of change has required a good deal of soul searching for our congregation. We’ve been seeking God about who we are, what God’s vision is for us, and how can we do a better job of discipling believers. I would say that Union Baptist Church has some similarities to the church of Sardis. We have a solid reputation of commitment to God through Christ centered worship, prayer, faith, good works and a Holy love for community.
However, for a season, we were blatantly disobedient in that we failed to hold key leaders accountable, did not always choose credentialed people for crucial positions, and refused to move leaders that were no longer able to perform required tasks. The situation caused division in the church family. Some members left, became bitter and/or struggled to be forgiving. Yet God reigned supreme. The congregation, (especially leadership) is in a period of repentance and soul searching. We have learned firsthand that letting anything that God is unhappy with continue to flourish in a church body will be divisive. However, allowing Holy Spirit inspired repentance to rule our individual hearts has made the difference.
So many good things are happening as a result of turning away from disobedience and toward God's tender heart for our congregational family. God has put a desire to be Holy and united in our hearts. I don’t know if the congregation would appreciate my opinion, but I own it. I find so much joy in praying that we will continue to be sheep that hear God’s voice and desire to be doers not just hearers only. We are fortifying ourselves and returning to God through repentance. Amen.