Bill Campbell

Thoughts of Life and Ministry

CONSIDERING AN OFT MISSING CHURCH INGREDIENT

Frequently one hears a lot of negative comments within congregations today. Things are heard like:

  • “The services at my church are boring!”
  • “I never get anything our of church!”
  • “Our preacher offers little or nothing worthwhile in his sermons!”
  • “The music needs great improvement!”
  • “The congregation I attend is simply a dead church, and ready for burial!”

Congregations do often suffer from being stagnant and dead. That is a given. Furthermore, this disease serves to increasingly place its members in passivity, as well as turn a number of its visitors away.

Yet, while the spiritual condition of congregations is often regularly lamented, and understandably so, the solution to such ills will not be effectively solved by always highlighting the problem or problems. By always moaning and groaning about what ought to be, but isn’t.

Allow me to get things focused in a reverse direction. Here’s a most important question for those to consider who are perpetually unhappy with their church: “AM I PART OF MY CHURCH’S PROBLEM, OR PART OF IT’S SOLUTION?” Remember, no chain is stronger than its weakest link. It never is. Never will be. And YOU are one of the existing vital links in the chain of your church.

Over time I have learned that the answers for unsatisfactory congregations is not to be found in giving a lot of rational considerations for why a church is not what it ought to be. In other words, by endeavoring to set forth numerous principles that will make a church either healthy or unhealthy. While such principles have some importance, and need to be highlighted, I think we often miss other underlying spiritual issues that are ever at play. And these underlying issues relate to not a few, but every member in a congregation.

Consider the following as major examples:

  • When you are present in the services of your church, why are you there? Are you present with the end in mind to GET something? Or, are you present to GIVE something of yourself? Times of worship have come to be viewed in the present day as being much like attending a sporting event, or, attending a movie.
  • Additionally, are you coming to a church gathering for the purpose of offering praise and to glorify God? Or, is your heart and mind focused much more on a multitude of other personal things? Have you even gathered in a tired and unreceptive heart and mind? The manner in which you approach worship will either make or break the worship experience.
  • Is it even possible that you are putting the emphasis more on those who are leading the worship time than you are on yourself? Those leading worship cannot possibly make the worship time a spiritually rewarding experience if those who’ve gathered to worship are not in a spiritual frame of mind, and ready for what God wishes to offer them.

Acts ten records a most interesting worship time. Peter has been summoned to the home of Cornelius to preach. Note the important words of Cornelius to Peter: “Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us” (Acts 10:33 – NIV).

Every preacher I know would be thrilled to be in Peter’s shoes. Why? Because the persons are present and ready for what God has for them.

Lord, we pray for this attitude and spirit to prevail once again in our congregations today!!

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November 9, 2013 - Posted by | Celebration, Christ, Christian Life, Church, Church and Family, Church and Ministry, Church Growth, Church Health, Church Leadership, Church Unity, Coaching, Discipleship, God, Outreach, Preaching, Relationships, Scripture, Service, Spirituality

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