Churches are filled with believers and unbelievers either seeking to connect, searching for answers, or looking for support. While many churches live out their Love, others greatly fail in this mission. And members and nonmembers often leave empty and wanting.
Where is the Love?
“In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1John4:10).
“We believe that the church was God’s idea to connect people of different backgrounds and cultures so that we could all learn how to get love right by following Jesus.” 1
14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. (Ephesians 4:14-16)
Model of Perfection
Church leaders sometimes give the impression of a sin-free life. In the eyes of faithful it seems that their spiritual headship does no wrong. Some are rarely vulnerable, projecting an image that is the model of perfection. Of course, I am not referring to the person who makes a habit of sinning and chooses not to confess it to God and the Church.
Feed the spirit
Sermons are so short these days. They are limited to time personal objectives of selfish agendas. The emphasis is on other things, like programs and entertainment. The bible tells us that Jesus is our spiritual food. (1 Corinthians 10:3-4) The spiritual strength that we need and desire is found in God’s Word. I have visited several churches over the years and how noticed a change. Pastors have picked up the burden of being more concerned with not angering their members and visitors. More and more have turned to a popular, feel-good message that has little to do with Love and correction.
One of the greatest missteps in our churches is the increase of programs over bible study. The priority to spend time with God has waned so much in churches big and small. There is little time to connect with each and more importantly God. As Dick Eastman says, “Prayer is not optional. On the contrary, it is quite obligatory. Where there is an absence of prayer there will be an absence of power.” 2 Let the Church be filled with Holy Spirit. Our job is not to generate an experience…this is distracting. God will bring the increase.
Churches have literally become dark. A well-lit sanctuary and singing out of hymnals has been traded for dark rooms slightly illuminated with colorful bulbs and lyrics projected through PowerPoint. The songs are sequenced in a way to get congregants to react. Leaders have mastered the art of manipulation by worship. They craft ways to control the atmosphere, thus leaving people unchanged when the service is over. “God is a Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). There is no truth in deception.
Is the church still relevant? The answer is a resounding YES. The church’s purpose is not negated by this age. No church or individual(s) for that matter is perfect. As John McArthur rightly states, “To neglect—or to refuse—to join a church as a formal member, however, reflects a misunderstanding of the believer’s responsibility to the body of Christ. And it also cuts one off from the many blessings and opportunities that flow from this commitment.” 3 So, not only are we impacted by belonging to an ungodly church, we limit our spiritual capacity by abstaining from church membership.
Credit where credit is due
1. Jon Harris – NewLife Church
2. Dick Eastman – “The Hour that Changes the World” book
3. John McArthur – https://www.gty.org/library/articles/DD03/church-membership