Thursday, June 15, 2017

So have had several conversations with people over the last couple of weeks about church membership and being active in your local church.    What I am quickly coming to understand is that most folks are really not interested in being active in their churches.  I mean they are honestly not interested.  They are more interested in other activities and organizations and church is simply just something they go to on Sunday's and maybe Wednesdays.    Now they won't come out and say that exactly like that, but their actions speak quite loudly of their intent.

We see this in smaller churches as the pool of people you have to pull from for help us much smaller.  People want programs and actives, but they don't want to help make those programs or activities a  success.   We want a youth group, but the majority are not willing to come alongside and invest and make it happen.  We want certain ministries to come about but most don't want to be the one who heads it up.  We want someone else to get their hand's dirty planning and prepping and they will just show up (sometimes).

I have come to realize that a majority of people who walk in the church are consumers rather than disciples.  A consumer comes in wanting and taking rather than investing and giving and if they don't get what they want they complain.  A disciple will come and pour out their lives for the mission at hand.  They will want to make more disciples rather than sit and complain about how they don't like things in the church.

Here are three things church members should be doing.

1. Attend your church.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Heb. 10:24-25 

We need be showing up.  If we say we love something we will be present.  And not only will we be present we will make our presence know and felt.  If I said I loved my wife but I never did anything with her and I only talked with her for an hour a week you'd look at me and tell me I was lying and that I don't really love my wife.  We need to be showing up and when we show up we need to be active, not motionless and still.  We need to be getting involved in something.  

2.Stop Complaining about your church 

Philippians 2:13-14
 For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
 Do everything without complaining and arguing,

We all can find issues and problems in our churches. We can spend hours if we really wanted to, complaining about our churches and the members of the church.  But is that helpful?  Is that beneficial to all?  I think not.  What would happen if we started pointing out the amazing things in our churches?  Rather than complaining about the stuff we don't like?  What would happen when we did see a problem rather than complaining about it, we moved in such a way to help make the problem go away.  Case and point:  'I wish we had a good youth program' (that's a big complaint in many churches).  Instead of just wishing and hoping.  Go make it happen.  Start investing.  Start something and see where God takes it.  You just might change the world!  At least the world of the students you work with. 

Kent Hughes has a great quote on hitch-hiking/complaining church goers:
A hitchhiker is a person who wants a free ride for a limited amount of time. He doesn’t take ownership of the car, maintain it, or help with its repairs; he simply wants a ride and will bail if anything goes wrong or if he’s finished riding. This is how many people think of the church and church membership:

You go to the meetings and serve on the boards and committees, you grapple with the issues and do the work of the church and pay the bills—and I’ll come along for the ride. But if things do not suit me, I’ll criticize and complain and probably bail out. My thumb is always out for a better ride.[1]

Many Christians today have the mindset of just coasting in a church for a time and then leaving when they feel like it. They don’t get involved in the life of the church; they don’t donate their time and energy; they never ask what they can do to help; and they don’t invest their lives in the church. They are irresponsible and immature in this aspect of their lives, and have little concept of duty or service.

3. Welcome people in.

And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled Luke 14:23

Start bringing people to church with you. Start compelling folks to join you.  One of the biggest complaints I hear in smaller churches is: 'I wish more people came here.'  Instead of complaining about it do something about it.  We all have at least one friend that does not go to church.  Ask them today what they are doing this weekend.  Then just ask.  Who knows they might just actually show up with you.  By you simply asking them to come with you to church you might actually see them come to know and love Jesus Christ!  How incredible is that?   And once you invite people, once they are there make them feel welcome!  That just might change your church! 

Rather than being a consumer become what Christ has called you to be, A DISCIPLE that comes along-side the mission of the Gospel and put your faith into action.  


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