Highlawn Baptist Church

A Word From Pastor Mark

A Word From Pastor Mark
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Rev. Mark Stauffer and Lynn

Survive or Thrive

The people ignored, sat still, were disobedient, and Jesus died... This is the story of Lent. This is the sorrow of these 40 days leading up to crucifixion. Yes, Jesus died! Yes, Jesus died for each one of us. OK, now what? 

And, the church sits still and morns the news of a Savior who will die. The church continues to sit still while the world suffers. The church lives in complacency for its own 40 day lifespan. We think that if we just ignore the change around us, it'll go away. Or, at the very least, it doesn't affect me, if I stay away from it. The church continues to sit still knowing that yes, there's a better end to this story, with many believing it's enough. Ignorance and complacency leads to simply surviving, and yes, even death. 

A key spokesman in the business world, Joel Barker writes in his book Discovering the Future:

"We have been living in a time when fundamental rules, the basic ways we do things, have been altered dramatically. That is, what was right and appropriate in the early '60s is now, in many cases, wrong and highly inappropriate. Or, conversely, what was impossible, crazy, or clearly out of line in the early '60s, is, in many cases today, so ordinary that we forget that it wasn't always that way. These kinds of dramatic changes are extremely important because they have created in us a sense of impermanence that generates tremendous discomfort."

One of the leading pastors in the United States, Leith Anderson writes in his book, The Church of the Twenty First Century:

"We are experiencing enormous structural change in our country and in our work - change that promises to be greater than the invention of the printing press, greater than the Industrial Revolution, and greater than the rise and demise of communism. Our world is changing so quickly that we can barely keep track of what is happening, much less figure out how to respond."

The earth shook, and Jesus rose! This is the story of Easter. Jesus rose from the dead so that we might have life, and have it abundantly. Jesus rose from the dead, so the He can be with us, and we can be with Him always. No worries again. We are equipped to face any challenge before us! This shaking brought about a different world! Amen!

The consensus of these above leaders, and many others, is that the vibrations, the shaking of the church and world are not a result of normal generational changes, such as change in leadership. Rather, this shaking ushers in cataclysmic changes in the church. We as part of this resurrected life, made possible by Jesus, must shake in our boots, so to speak, and respond in ways that will shake up our community and world! This is thriving!!  

Here in this worn and weary land where many a dream has died

Like a tree planted by the water we will never run dry

So living water flowing through God we thirst for more of You

Fill our hearts and flood our souls with one desire

Just to know you and to make you known

We lift your name on high

Shine like the sun make darkness run and hide

We know we were made for so much more than ordinary lives

It's time for us to more than just survive, we were made to thrive.

(Casting Crowns ~ Thrive)

ln His Name,
Pastor Mark


To know Christ, and to make Christ known
Highlawn Baptist Church  *  2304 Jefferson Avenue  *  St. Albans WV  25177