When Asa heard these words, the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was in front of the vestibule of the house of the Lord. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were residing as aliens with them, for great numbers had deserted to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. They were gathered at Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa. They sacrificed to the Lord on that day, from the booty that they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep. They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and with all their soul (2 Chronicles 15:8-12).
The more time I spend in ministry the less I am enamored with strategies for church growth and books on developing leadership skills when it comes to being an effective pastor or a faithful church. It’s not that such strategies and books are entirely wrong. Indeed, every one has something of value to offer. But I think the last thing the church in the West needs is another sloganeering program and flow chart with steps toward effective ministry all put in the context of the unchurched as consumers and Christianity as a commodity.