This article is not to bad mouth churches,,, but to objectively examine what makes for a good church, and what you can do about helping the situation.
A Church is a marvelous thing to behold, especially when its people love the Lord, and Serve Him. Sadly, it is not always that way…and for some churches, it never was that way, and probably never will be. It is common knowledge that people “bounce around” from Church to Church “looking for something’ which seems to address their need.
Often, they “stay” in some places for many of the wrong reasons. Maybe they like the humor.„ or some relatives attend there„.. or their teen likes it (woe to those families who are led by teens when they should be led by dad under the influence of God). Many reasons, except the right one, which would be that they are truly led by the Holy Spirit to settle in there, grow and learn there. They should have a holy excitement about them which is fed by the preaching/teaching ministry..„ and which challenges them in the things of the Lord. They should see the fellowship of the Holy Spirit with other believers, pervading the congregation in recognizable ways. They should feel like they “want” to add into that fellowship, as well as receive from it.
There are two general classifications which determine the overall atmosphere of a church. They are… that the pastor, leaders, and people, are in love with Christ, led by the Holy Spirit in all that they do, and that the Holy Spirit’s presence and influence are evident.
First, The pastor, leaders, and people are in love with Christ, led by the Holy Spirit in all that they do, and that the Holy Spirit’s presence and influence are evident.
The second is the opposite of the first. There a political atmosphere under the influence of “whomsoever’s flesh” which dominates. This latter could be a general influence….from some, or all of the people. It can be a temporary thing or a rather permanent thing which ruins the future use of the work.
This is serious… each person attending a given church becomes jointly responsible before the Lord concerning the spiritual atmosphere of the work.
It is not the pastor’s responsibility, as though it were his alone. It is his, alright, but it is also the responsibility of each believer who attends that work, and thereby “joins in” with what is going on there, whether they approve of it or not.
Consider, for example, the Lord’s invitation to the believer is to “take My yoke upon you, and learn of me.”
That picturesque invitation suggests that for each of us who are truly saved, we are to see ourselves as being in a yoke…which is an instrument of labor …walking with the Lord, not ahead of Him…not behind Him, dragging, so as to make the progress inefficient. That individualistic picture with the Lord is for each of us. It means that each of us is responsible to see ourselves as in joint- labor with Him in fellowship with Him and with one another.
We each need to get serious about our role within the work of God. You are not there to be entertained, nor flattered, nor fed with food…„you are there to participate in the work, and to reciprocate in the fellowship with the love of God working in and through you, so that you are lending positive influence into what amounts to the overall testimony of your church. If you are not measuring up somehow…and you have what it takes, to be honest about is a great verse to encourage you in Isaiah 57:15 “For thus saith the high and lofty One Who inhabiteth eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit
If you are not measuring up somehow…and you have what it takes, to be honest about it, then there is a great verse to encourage you in Isaiah 57:15.
“For thus saith the high and lofty One Who inhabiteth eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also who is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”
If each of you draws near to Him with humility….the testimony of your church will be glorious for the Savior, and a thrill to each of your souls as you fellowship together.
Joseph Stringer served as the pastor of Fellowship Bible Church located in Methuen, MA. During his retirement, he remained engaged in teaching Bible studies and the encouragement of God’s saints. He’s now home with his Savior, Jesus Christ. Thousands of Christians were brought to Christ through his many years of ministry.