Quick, stop what you are doing and check your pulse.....
Did you reach for your wrist, the carotid artery in your neck, or simply put your hand over you heart? Each place indicates something unique.
I'm told that our pulse doesn't just check your heart rate. It can also indicate blood pressure. Without adequate blood pressure your blood is not able to travel to all the parts of your body, depriving the tissue of its most critical need: oxygen.
If you heart stops pumping, the blood flow ceases. With a beating heart, yet poorly functioning circulatory system, things can go wrong very very fast. Your heart could be beating, yet without enough blood circulation you are still dying.
The pulse in your neck is a sign that blood is flowing to the brain. This is absolutly vital. Without this, you are dead in minutes.
The pulse in your wrist is a sign that blood is flowing to your limbs, and blood is circulating throughout the body. Without this, something is seriously wrong.
How can a Church check its pulse?
How do you measure the life of a Church?
Many would measure relationships: do they get along? Or their experience: do they enjoy their time there? This could be a church's heart: Relationships.
Others would measure their belief: Is their doctrine true? Or their faith: do they overcome and achieve great things? This could be a church's head: Religion.
I would suggest most people outside a church, don't start with the heart or head. Their first experience is the hand: The Church's Reach.
If a church says it loves people, what actions speak love.
If a church says God forgives all, what actions speak forgiveness.
If a church says a Creator made you for a purpose, what actions speak purpose.
If a church says Jesus is the source of life, what actions speak life.
If we say all these things, but our reach is not present or effective, what will people hear?
"Actions speak louder than words."
We've all heard that before, and probably have experienced that truth many times.
He said he loved me.
She promised she be there.
They said everyone was welcomed.
He was always too busy.
Something came up and she had to go.
They treated me like I didn't belong.
We have all had some one proclaim one thing, but demonstrate the opposite.
Churches can do that too.
May are hearts be transformed
May our minds be renewed
And may our hands reach out in action, speaking loud.