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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Americas church and the complacency

There seems to be a revival of sorts by many well-known Christian leaders. A revival directed towards any and all leaders to boldly declare the truths of the Word of God without being a wimp. They are not advocating bullying or Bible beating, but simply to not be apologetic for what scripture teaches and to pass it along with the boldness of Paul or John.
This thrills my heart as I consider how far Americas churches are from the intent outlined in Acts chapter 2. People weren't arguing over coffees, roof color, paved parking lots or new pew Bibles. They were concerned with what they could do to admonish the body and bring non-believers to a saving understanding of the grace of God. They were less concerned with what they wore and more concerned with what they missed if they weren't able to make it to a gathering. The church of God was on the move and people needed to be on board, fasten their seat belts and hold on.
I don't believe for a minute that God is weary and no longer on the move but rather He is watching for willing hearts. Christians sold out for Him and willing to sacrifice an evening with their favorite drink and sit com for a chance to build the church.
As I have served in several states I confess that I have a great deal of concern. It started with my time as a youth pastor, seeing corrupt leaders in the church, the very thing we are called as shepherds to be on alert for and yet the opposition was against anyone who stood in their way. The sheep will always take the way of less resistance when you stand by idle. Another area I saw was a parenting issue. Professing Christians committed to a church, or at least appearing to be and then being extremely passive regarding their youths involvement in a youth group. I have witnessed first hand the youth culture, bouncing from group to group looking for the latest good time. Youth pastors that have a "shot of Jesus" as if to much Jesus would be fatal. Just the opposite! Parents that would ream youth leaders because little Jimmy or Sally are bored or as one well to do man i spoke with, wanted to shut down youth group and do an open gym because basketball was important to his son. Really?? Since when did the churches outreaches seek to please one self centered father, through becoming a rec center or show, instead of God centered ministry? It has gotten out of hand and we even see it in our adults. Consumers, not contributors, givers, doers and go getter's. I believe it gets back to the push for Biblical training not just for our leaders but for every Christ follower. Discipleship to model and train up new leaders. Preaching and teaching the Bible for "a change". That of course is an intentional two-fold meaning. Teaching for a change instead of making it fellowship and game time, and the other meaning is a direct reference why most God honoring teachers preach and teach. They desire to see the listener prompted to growth and motivated to action. Something most every pastor would tell you is severely lacking in our churches. I believe it is time to join these leaders and encourage your pastors and teachers to preach the truth. Enough with the extras, give us the Word of God!!
Just a thought for the week.
Maybe you could take a moment and send me a note of what your pastor is doing well and why.