A Healthy Attitude Toward The Church

January 4, 2013

A Healthy Attitude Toward The Church

            Some church leaders have bought into the philosophy that the best way to promote church growth is to give people what they want.  Back some years ago church leaders went door to door conducting a survey asking people what they would like for the church to offer.  The following are some suggestions people gave for making church more appealing to them.

  1.  Some suggested that they would like for the church to offer classes in weight loss, exercise, and martial arts
  2. Some said they would like for the church to be more contemporary in their music, Bible translations, and dress standards.
  3. Others said the pastor needed to be more dramatic in his preaching.  A lecture is boring.
  4. Some wanted the church to include more social activities like parties, game nights and coffee and donuts before and after Sunday school.

Perhaps there was nothing wrong with some of their suggestions, but the problem is that people in the world have little understanding of what the function of a church should be.  To many of them, it’s more like a social club and a gathering place for community activities.  Even some professing Christians are willing to sacrifice the spiritual, if by so doing it’s possible to get more people to come to church.  To them, I believe the Apostle Paul would say what he said to the believers in the Corinthian church.  “Now in this that I declare unto you I praise you not, that ye come together not for the better, but for the worse” (I Corinthians 11:17).

What should be the function of a local church?  To answer that question we need to look at the churches in the book of Acts in the Bible.  The first churches didn’t have church buildings, but they did meet together.  I Corinthians 11:18 says “For first of all, when ye come together in the church, I hear that there be divisions among you; and I partly believe it.” To know something about what they did when they met together we can go to Acts 2:41-42.  “Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” It doesn’t mention preaching, but no doubt it was included in the “apostle’s doctrine.” Preaching is mentioned numerous times in the book of Acts and the epistles of the Apostle Paul.  By reading the epistles of Paul we learn a lot about the function of the churches.  God’s desire for us as believers is spelled out in Colossians 3:16-17.  “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.   And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  Faithful church attendance facilitates us in doing that.

It has been said, “What brings people to church is what will keep them there.” In general, that’s true.  If they go to church in search of spiritual nourishment and to worship God, they will stay there if the church meets that need.  If they go to church because it is a social outlet or because they like the music, they will stay for that reason.  If they go to a church because they have some good friends in the church, they may leave if their friends leave the church.  I have known boys who made a profession of salvation and started attending church because they had a special interest in a young lady in the church.  However, when she made it clear that she had no interest in him, he never came back to church.

People of the world are most attracted to a church full of people.  Even the godly Christians are thrilled if their church is filled.  However, it’s a serious mistake if the church modifies its divine mission to get people inside the doors.  Churches can make modifications in their program to get more people to attend.  They can schedule a weekly visitation time and motivate the members to participate.  Certain people can be designated each week as greeters to stand at the door and welcome visitors.  Visitors can be given special recognition from the pulpit.  There are other things that can be done.  Churches are defeating their purpose if they lower their standards, or curtail their spiritual ministry in order to attract people.  The function of a church is not to give people what they want.  It is to give people what they need.

If you are attending a church, ask yourself why.  If it isn’t for spiritual nourishment and a means of worshiping God, your motives are wrong.  If it is for these motives, but the church isn’t meeting your need, you need to seek a church that will serve you better.  If you are a child of God, but you aren’t attending a church faithfully you are one of God’s disobedient children.  God wants all of his children to be in church.  Hebrews 10:25 says “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”

 

Our e-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

 

 

 

 

 

(533)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.