Some in shriveling churches have prayed a form of Ezekiel 37:1-14 for their congregations. The prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of dry bones, and as he spoke in God’s name over them, God supernaturally reassembled them into a vibrant living body. God told Ezekiel that the vision was about the return from exile of the revived Chosen People to the land he’d given them. The appropriation of these words in prayer over a failing local church tends to signal the congregation is in its final stages of existence.
In 2010, my husband and I visited a Chicago-area congregation we used to attend three decades ago. I wrote about the experience here. Visiting after so many years was a shock.
It was once a vibrant community full of the fruit of the Jesus Movement, but had withered to a numerical and spiritual shadow of what it once had been. [Read more]