there is a little forest behind my church and this tree has always stood out to me.
my phone doesn't take great pictures...but hopefully you can see the dead tree in the midst of all the healthy green foliage.
my church is a vibrant family ministry. our pastor has a heart after God that rivals paul, peter or john of the bible. we are reminded to 'reach up for the help and reach out for the hurting' at every leadership event and ministry meeting. no matter where someone is in their walk with God...there is something there for them. however. not everyone is alive spiritually. it is sad. but even in a healthy church like mine there are people that are spiritually dead. i have even gone thru seasons myself in which i feel dormant.
in the winter...this tree blends in. you can't necessarily tell that it is dead. likewise...during certain seasons...it is hard to tell who is growing and who is not.
if you are in a spiritually dead church...do something about it.
if you are spiritually dead...but surrounded by healthy living followers of Christ...take this as a warning.
You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds!
You're like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it's all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you're saints, but beneath the skin you're total frauds.
I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
don't pretend to be okay. don't lie to yourself or others. ask for help. as much as we like to blame pastors and other leaders for our growth...or lack of it...we are responsible for our own roots. find a way to grow. reach out your roots until you find the source you need. produce fruit and serve those around you. often...when i go thru dry seasons i find that humbling myself and serving is like jump starting my car battery. even if my attitude isn't right in the beginning...service leads to worship and worship leads to growth.