This morning I started a series of messages called -- Advancing the Kingdom. We started with Jesus' declaration and description of the church he intended: He would build his church; he is the owner of his church; he would advance his church, and nothing could stop his church's mission.
Most people who have belonged to a church have long suspected that there is a disconnect between it and the church Jesus described. Today's message was anything but a beat down. On the contrary, it was the starting place for an emerging new journey. God's people are hungering for the church he promised. We are ready to hand the deed back to the rightful owner. Like the scene from Lord of the Rings -- The Two Towers, we have discovered that retreating to Helm's Deep was a trap. Though our intentions of keeping the enemy out by constructing fortified castles (church buildings) seemed like a good idea, the choice to retreat, rather than engage, was a mistake. Those walls have been breached and their gates stormed.
Beneath the surface of our souls is a growing dissatisfaction, dislike, and disgust for the taste of defeat, and a growing courage, belief, and hope of advance.