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The Church at large is on the verge of a huge shift, not because our message is wrong, but because our methods are not working so well. Are you sensing the same thing?
And no one puts new wine into old wineskins....
(Mark 2:22 NKJV)
Happy New Year! We are looking forward to 2012 with great expectation – how about you? Have you given any thought to what God wants to do in and through you and your church this year? What attitudes, perspectives, methods, strategies or wineskins do you need to leave behind?

As we look ahead to this New Year, one word has consistently been rolling around in our hearts…the word: Shift. Not just any ole shift, but a massive shift – a Copernican-type shift. You remember Copernicus, don't you?

It was 1543 and everyone thought Earth was the center of the galaxy – everyone except Copernicus, that is. Through his research he discovered that everything did not revolve around the Earth, but rather the Sun stood still at the center of the galaxy and we revolved around it! The Copernican Shift was one of the biggest reality checks ever. It was a massive epiphany and paradigm shift. It wasn't a little "tweak" in the thinking of the day – it was a radical change of view – primarily because the other view was completely wrong. Can you imagine how the Copernican Shift must have rocked the perspective of the leading thinkers, rulers and scientists of the day?

We've sensed a Copernican-type shift taking place in the Church, the Body of Christ, for the past few years. Perhaps the Church at large is on the verge of a huge shift, not because our message is wrong, but because our methods are not working so well. Are you sensing the same thing?

According to George Barna's statistics ( it seems that the Christian church in America needs a shift.

When American's were asked, "Where are the Christian Leaders?"
More than 1 out of 50 adults mentioned Billy Graham, the Pope, Barack Obama and Joel Osteen as the most significant Christian leaders. What’s more, 41% of Americans are unable to identify any individual who they consider to be an influential Christian.

Confused on Salvation and Hell: Barna reports that 43% of Americans said it doesn’t matter what religious faith you follow because they all teach the same lessons; 54% of Americans disagree. Half of Americans (50%) believe that all people are eventually saved or accepted by God no matter what they do, while 40% disagreed.

According to the 2007 article, Statistics and Reasons for Church Decline, by Dr. Richard J. Krejcir as published through the Schaeffer Institute, (, the church has become culturally irrelevant and numerous factors are contributing to a decline in many churches. How are these stats for a Copernican-sized wake up call?

More Churches Closing Than Opening: Every year more than 4,000 churches close their doors compared to just over 1,000 new church starts!

Christians Are Hurt, Passive and Apathetic: Every year, 2.7 million church members fall into inactivity. This translates into the realization that people are leaving the church. From our research, we have found that they are leaving as hurting and wounded victims—of some kind of abuse, disillusionment, or just plain neglect!

Too Many Churches Are In Decline: From 1990 to 2000, the combined membership of all Protestant denominations in the USA declined by almost 5 million members (9.5 percent), while the US population increased by 24 million (11 percent). Half of all churches in the U.S. did not add any new members to their ranks in the last two years.

USA One of Top 3 Mission Fields: The United States now ranks third (3rd) following China and India in the number of people who are not professing Christians; in other words, the U.S. is becoming an ever increasing “un-reached people group.”

A Copernican Shift will have to start with questions. We need to be brutally honest and ask the Lord some basic questions. Why are Christians not "getting it?" Why are pastors and church leaders quitting? How have we created self-absorbed Christian consumers rather than self-denial-type of disciples? Where is the supernatural power of God? Why are our messages so vanilla and Word-anemic? Why are Christian leaders bitter, disillusioned and ready to leave the sheep to fend for themselves? Why are sheep so unhealthy, hurt and wounded? Why are many of today's Christians so "childish" and what will it take for them to grow up? Why are many Christian leaders and churches sterile and unable to reproduce? Where are the "3,000 people saved in a day" revivals? Where are the sacrificial, all-in, sold out, it's-not-about-me, first-Century-like Christians and churches? Brutal questions. We don't have the answers to all of those questions; we're just being honest enough to ask them.

As a Christian or a Church Leader, where are you as it relates to the Copernican Shift? Are you on the fulcrum and ready to pivot? We are, and we're seeking the Lord about new wineskins and shifts. We encourage you to join us and take the next 30 days - the month of January 2012 - to fast, pray, journal and prayerfully consider the spiritual dynamics of new wineskins and the Copernican Shift in your life and ministry.
God raised him (Christ) from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, Christ rules the church.
(Eph. 1:20-21 MSG)
Say It: Father, if You're pouring out new wine, I don't want to be stuck using old wine skins. What types of new things are You up to? What does that mean for me and my Church? Give me eyes to see any and all new realities, paradigms, perspectives and wine skins that are necessary for the next season of my life and ministry. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Beth Jones Ministries
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Author Biography

Beth Jones
Web site: Valley Family Church
As a young couple, fresh out of Bible School with Two daughters and a third child on the way, Jeff and Beth Jones felt God's call to pioneer Valley Family Church in 1991 with a vision to make an eternal difference in Southwest Michigan. As a husband and wife team, they have always led together as visionary pastors and have shared the pulpit as Bible teachers. They are passionate about building the local church in greater Kalamazoo and the global church around the world.

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