The Barrier of Lost Love for Others

Here is a brief synopsis of Chapter 4 of the book, “Hurdling the Barriers to Church Health and Growth.”

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34, ESV)

I remember our transition from Savannah to Portsmouth like it was yesterday. We left the church we planted in Savannah wounded and disheartened. . . . having lost our meeting space on the college campus, we needed to recast the vision of our little congregation. . . . In doing this, I came under attack by some of our church leaders, the very ones I had appointed. They disagreed with my direction and leadership. . . . this was a very difficult time for my wife and me. I ended up shutting down the little church and taking an interim pastorate.

A year later, I accepted a call to Seacoast Community Church in Portsmouth NH. . . . This little church had been through a lot. They were running in the red and without a miracle, could only guarantee keeping me on the staff for about six months. With the backdrop of this situation, we left Savannah and relocated 900 miles, wounded and hoping for a miracle.

Prior to arriving there, the church had experienced a significant loss of its members. One parishioner described it as the doom days. . . . This congregation was very special. They had a God given love for one another. In a time when we needed healing, in spite of all their dire circumstances, they embraced Chris and me and provided a healing salve of love for us as a couple. They typified the kind of love that Jesus called for in the “New Commandment,” to love one another. I am grateful to the Lord for putting us in this church at such a time.

The church in Portsmouth had hurdled the barrier of lost love for others. They obeyed the “Second Great Commandment,” which is to “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39, ESV) Churches that do not obey this command have a tremendous barrier to being healthy.

In this chapter, I look into this particular command to love one another, the heart of a congregation that displays it, what this love looks like in practical ways, and what to do if the church experiences the barrier of a lost love for one another.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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