Last week I watched online the livestream of a fire in downtown Portland. The building was a church that had been empty for several years. Before that it was a Korean church. Before that it was Portland First Evangelical Church. This once grand structure had been sitting empty and ignored for the past several years. That is until January 3rd when it was set on fire.
I know and enjoy the history of the Pacific Conference, so I was sad to see the building burn. Especially since this was my family's church when I was a child. My dad was the youth pastor there while he was in college and seminary. However, it was even more sad to me that a place that once was the home of dynamic preaching and ministry had become an abandoned building that no longer was the site of a move of God, but a place of emptiness. People didn't care about this building until it caught on fire. There were plenty of firetrucks, firefighters, and camera crews. It made national news as people came just to watch the church on fire.
There is a quote that is attributed to John Wesley. “Light yourself on fire with passion and people will come from miles to watch you burn.” So the question for us is, are we a people of passion? Do we have a passion for focusing on Jesus? Do we have a passion for following God's Word? Do we have a fiery passion for fulfilling the Great Commission? In Matthew 3:11 John the Baptist spoke of Jesus saying that he would baptize people in the Holy Spirit and in fire. Nobody cares about a church that is empty and does not have the fire of the Holy Spirit. Churches led by pastors who are on fire for the Lord and have believers on fire with a passion for following Jesus are an irresistible attraction. Just as people came to watch a church on fire in downtown Portland, they will come to watch a church that is on fire for the Lord. Do we have that passion? If not, are you asking God to renew your passion?