“The church that is not evangelizing is a church on the road to becoming a fossil.” – seen on Facebook
What an analogy! With that as a definition, a large number of churches – both big and small – seem to be on the road to fossil-dom. As I thought about this statement, I began to wonder just what a fossil really is. What is the definition of a fossil and what creates a fossil?
My mind began to search my memory bank from my formative years of education. I know it has something to do with dinosaurs…floods… ice ages… but how does this relate to the local church?
Before we go any further, let me share with you the true definition of a fossil which will help you better understand my fascination with the quote.
Fossil is a noun which can be used in the singular or plural sense. Even more striking and definitive is the description of fossil/fossils.
fossil (fos·sil \ˈfä-səl\):
The remains or impression of a prehistoric organism preserved in petrified form or as a mold or cast in rock. The synonyms equated with this definition are “petrified remains, petrified impression, a remnant or relic,” and what is even more interesting in this definition is the word “relic” which defined means “an object, custom, or belief that has survived from an earlier time but is now outmoded.”
Let me be extremely clear on one point before I proceed into deeper water, The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not a relic, outmoded or outdated. It is never changing but always relevant to past, present and future generations. If not for the atoning death of Jesus on the cross of Calvary and the shedding of His blood for our sins, there would be no hope.
Sadly, churches who choose to live in the ways of their old traditions become petrified like a fossil. They become just a relic, no longer having life. There is just an impression of its former self, left for future generations to study as to why it fossilized.
May I urge you not to become a fossilized relic of the past, but to return to your first love Jesus Christ? Don’t be just an impression of something that once was – be a vibrant, living legacy of the gospel’s truth.