Where is the Church?
My opinion doesn't come lightly ... or without much thought and prayer. It comes from alot of thought, prayer, study, reading, and from me simply wanting to understand this basic question, " Where Is The Church? " And I ask that question because:
have become nothing more than pure
" Social Clubs "
The church has slowly but surely become corrupted by those that " truely " aren't Christians even though they have walked down the aisle, cried, and said what has become the magic words to become a part of the "social club", which are "I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior". But ... remember what Jesus said:
To many churches over the years have been seeking more and more members to play the numbers game. That is, how quickly can we make our church grow? How soon can we hire a fulltime secretary, assistant pastor, education pastor, or youth pastor? How many more do we need before we can build a bigger building or add an addition to our current building? How many more do we need so that we can start a Christian School?
Now I realize that getting more members means more people are in churches listening to the word of God which is a good thing. However, how many members do you get before there are so many that the members aren't really being given spiritual guidance in their lives? In my opinion, for a pastor to adequately provide spiritual guidance to members, no church should have more than 200 members. And yes ... that count includes men, women, and children.
I was in a local Fundamentalist Baptist style church lately because someone had recommend it to me as a good strong Christian Church with a dedicated and Godly pastor. It only took me that one Sunday to realize that this church was about one thing and one thing only ... growth.
During his message the pastor said, "When Pastor so-an-so first started this church in his home little did he realize the way it would grow. He built what is now our educational building as our first church building. Then when he retired Pastor so-an-so took over and he built this building five years ago that we are now in which holds about 700 to 800 people and I promise, now that I've taken over as your pastor, that before I leave I'll build one on the land that we currently own that will hold 2,000 people or more!" The members clapped and cheered him on.
So he went on to say, "We must all work hard to get as many members as we can so that " MY " dream of leaving behind a great church building for the glory of God when my time comes to retire will be realized. Nothing would make me happier!"
Now that church must get as many people as they can to join the "social club" by walking down the aisle, accepting Jesus Christ, and be baptisted and become good members.
My Christian brothers and sisters, when you hear pastors say things like this a little bell should go off in your head ... (it did in mine) Is the pastor worried about leaving a legacy for himself? Shouldn't we be spending our church funds to help the community as a whole come closer to Jesus? Aren't there people in our community that need our help?
Why is it that we let people simply join our churches because they walk down the aisle, say that they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and get baptisted? When will we realize that 75% of them ... don't really mean it? Read the parable of the Sower as expounded by our Lord:
Once we let the 75% in ... "THEY" are the majority! ... "THEY" decide which way the church is going, who will be the pastor, when we will build a bigger building, how and when we will worship God, and where the money of the church will be spent! With the 75% in as members, a "social club" is now in full force!
" NO ONE " should be allowed to join a local church body until such time that the pastor and church elders can determine that the seed fell on " good ground "! This could take weeks, months, or even years to determine based on the individuals life.
You say, "But pastor, if we do that people won't stay in the church. They will get upset and tired of waiting until the pastor and elders decide if they should be a member or not. They will leave and go find another church that will accept them as they are."
"And the problem with them leaving is?" If the process is explained to them ... and they are part of the 25% where the seed fell on "good ground" ... they will wait! In fact they will study and learn all the more to become better and stronger christians! And that is "exactly" what the church is suppose to be doing for the church as a whole and for the individual! If they won't wait then guess what ... they are part of the 75% that are just joining a "social club".
Let me ask you this ... how does your church decide if someone should be a voting member of your church or not? I'll bet I can tell you ... They walked down the aisle ... say that they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior ... and then get baptisted ( many churches don't even require a walk down the aisle or baptism anymore ). Then the pastor has them stand in front of the church and says, "All in favor of this person becoming a member please say "amen" ". The members "always" say "amen". And then he says, "Those opposed say nay" ... and you can hear a pin drop as no one objects. Sorry but giving someone the right to vote in our local churches " SHOULD NEVER BE THAT EASY "!
We wonder how satan and his evil spirits get into the local churches ... but then we shouldn't. We allow those in that are part of the 75% to become members without any reservations and they are now given " FULL ACCESS " to the church and the ability to control it's path!
But my brothers and sisters in Christ ... There are people within your own community, in the United States, that are hungry, homeless, and don't have enough clothes to wear. And many, many, many, of them have never heard the word of God or experienced the love of God ... because the "social club" doesn't want to be bothered with those that are close ... it's easier to send money to a missionary overseas to do our work for us. That way we can feel happy with outselves like we are doing something ... without getting our hands dirty so to speak. WHY AREN'T WE SPENDING THE LORD'S MONEY TO TAKE CARE OF OUR FAMILIES AND NEIGHBORS?
Even small towns always have " someone " that is in great need of help!! Single parents having a hard time, those out of work, those that are having addiction problems, older folks with their houses needing repair or simply needing someone to clean their homes and yards, people in nursing homes that are lonely and need supplies, those in prison that need a visit and supplies, teens who need somewhere safe to hangout, and the list goes on and on ....
Remember what our Lord said:
And the problem with that is? ... If you are helping others in hopes of getting new members instead of to plant a seed or spread the word of God ... then you are helping others for all the wrong reasons. For all you know you planted a seed with that person that might not grow for years to come ... but it just might grow into something magnificent!
Another local church is in a small community that has a small college ... now if you think like I do you would say " What an opportunity! " Start a "fulltime" christian ministry for those college students to help now that they are away from home and to help instill christian values instead of sending the money overseas. But they don't. Why is that? " Where is the Church? "
When will we "wakeup" and realize that what he said hits the nail right on the head! The local church should be "small", one where a pastor can work with his flock on a personal basis! In a big church with many members how does a pastor give his best to so many? The answer is ... he can't!
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Last modified: Sunday, April 25, 2010