“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 ESV
There are many of churches who are struggling when it comes to attendance. For some reason or another it seems that people will not come. Why is that? I believe the reason is based on myths that we as a church have chosen to believe. Allow me to list a few of those myths here: 1. If we build it they will come, 2. If we have sound preaching, then they will come 3. If we change the music they will come 4. If we have fantastic programs they will come and 5. If we have younger leadership with a family then they will come.
While these myths sound factual, they are not for if we are putting our hope in this for people to come then it will not work. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that sound preaching is important and I believe it is important for churches to be open to some of the newer music. However, that alone will not cause people to come our church. A church can have the best preacher and the best music but still be empty. So the question arises, what can we do?
I believe what we all as churches must realize is that we can’t wait for people to come to us, we must go to them. Jesus never meant for us to wait till people darken our doors, instead He always wanted us to go where the people are. Jesus illustrated this in the scripture mentioned above for this is exactly what He did. Jesus was always among the people, so should the church be also.
The more we outreach to people in our community, the more we will see the effect in our church over time. It will not be overnight, in fact it will take a long time. It might even take years. However, that does not really matter for if we are doing what we should be doing then in God’s time He will grow His church. So what we as a church must choose to do is to be faithful to our Lord by reaching out to others just as He wants us to do.
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.” 1 Timothy 3:1
Many times when we think of our pastor, we think of someone that is suppose to be super close to God, has it all together, and never struggles. We often put our pastor on this pedestal and when they fall off we become devastated but the reality is this truth: PASTORS ARE PEOPLE TOO. They struggle with depression, they get discouraged, they need encouragement, they want things, they feel lonely, they need friends and they don’t have it all together. Pastors are not more special than you or better than anyone, they just have been given a task to take care of God’s people through preaching, teaching the Word and equipping the saints. Pastors need your prayer. Pray for and encourage your pastor today
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
We truly are a forgetful people. What we do one day, it is easy for us to forget tomorrow. For us as the church we know what Scripture teaches that relates to loving each other and bearing one another’s burdens but we have also easily forgotten it.
The reason to this forgetfulness is because we have got use to church just being a place that we go to every week, sing a few song, hear a message and then go home. While that is what we do at church, the reality is that we have forgotten that the church is a place that we bring our burdens too.
Scripture plainly tells us that we need to bear one another’s burdens and the best place to bring those burdens is at church. The church should be a safe place and a comforting place. The church should be a place where we know we will find strength and encouragement to go. The church should be a community of believers helping each other and loving on each other.
The question is–how do we get back to that purpose? It begins by getting back to the Word and discovering what the Lord expects out of us as the church. It begins by confessing to the Lord and asking for forgiveness for not being that place that is willing to help others. And it begins by making a commitment once again to be the church that is willing to help, love, and bear one another’s burdens.
This purpose begins with you!!!!
Have a blessed day!!!
28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Our world is filled with broken people and so are our churches. The truth is even though we realize that the world is filled with people who are broken, we never associate that with people who come to our services. We think those people should have it all together but the reality is that don’t and neither really do any of us if we are to be honest.
When that brokenness is revealed concerning that person that attends our action are often that in a form of judgment and condemnation. We are kind of like those chickens who discover that one of the chickens has a wound on its head and all gang up and begin pecking till that chicken is dead.
This my friends is not the way it should be in the church. When we discover that one of our brother or sisters are broken we should not gang up and stomp them instead we should be willing to show them the love that Christ would show them. Jesus always cared for the brokenhearted and so should we. The broken person that is attending your church is there for a reason, not to be judged or to be looked down but to be loved.
Lets stop judging and start caring. Let’s stop condemning and start loving others for who they are. The church is a place for the brokenhearted and it is time that the church wakes up and realizes that
…Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Matthew 14:29-30
It really is amazing how quick one can lose their way in this life. Their is so much distraction happening in this world that we can take our eyes off of Christ so easily.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible has to do with Peter walking on the water. Remember when Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, he asked for Jesus to allow him to come and Jesus told him to do it. As Peter began walking on the water, all of a sudden he began to notice all that was happening around him and before you know it Peter was sinking. Peter in desperation began to cry out to the Lord and the Lord lifted Peter out of the water, putting him back on track once again.
Peter represents all of us for we all have gotten off track sometime in our life. Those things that have taken our eyes off of Jesus might have been our family, people we are having trouble with or just life in general. What do we do when we realize we are on the wrong path and find ourselves sinking? Some of us might feel hopelessness or despair but the truth is the answer is found in Jesus Christ. When we come to realization that we are truly off track, the best answer is to cry out to Jesus as Peter did and Jesus through His grace and mercy will put us back where we belong.
My friend, don’t give up for the Lord is truly there
Wishing you all a great weekend
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain….” Deuteronomy 5:11 NASB
When many of us look at the verse above we think that it is referring to cussing with God’s name on it. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard someone say to a person who did that by saying, “Oh God is going to get you for taking His name in vain.” But is that what this commandment talking about? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we should ever use God’s name in that form but to say that this commandment is referring to just that is not correct.
The meaning of this commandment actually means “to attach God’s name to emptiness.” So just take a minute and think about this for a second. Many times I have heard people say that they have sat through worship, preaching and even Bible study and got nothing from it but yet they say they came in the name of the Lord. Could it be that we just took God’s name in vain because our worship, or our presence in church or in Bible study is empty.
I believe there are many ways in which we all break this commandment. When we come to worship God whether it is at church or at home we should be coming with the attitude of wanting to sit at His feet to learn something. The reason I believe that our worship seems empty has nothing to do with the preacher, the music or even the Bible we use instead it has to do with our heart.
The next time you get alone with God, I encourage you to ask Him to help you to put your focus on Him so that you will worship Him the way He deserves to be worshipped
Have a good day!!!
Over the last several weeks we have been having severe storms all around almost all week long. This morning as I was driving to work I notice something different. Instead of seeing dark clouds I saw sunshine, instead of hearing thunder and seeing lighting I heard the birds singing. As I allowed this to soak in, I realized that the storms that we face in our lives will not be forever. I know at times it seems like we will never get through the storm but in time the storms will pass and the sun will shine again. The question is what can we do till the sun shines again. I believe the following is a very helpful guide.
1. Get alone with God and pour our hearts out to Him through prayer. Be honest with God, tell Him how you feel and what you are going through. God has the biggest shoulders ever and there is no problem that He cannot handle
2. Get into the Word Of God. The greatest help for all is the Bible. When you feel as though you cannot go on, God’s Word will give you strength and help. As the Holy Spirit leads highlight and underline verses that encourage you. This will be great help later when you go through other storms that you will face.
3. Examine Your Heart. Although we may not realize it the storms that we face in life can actually be for our good. Instead of allowing it to overcome you, use it as an examining tool. Such as—What can I learn from this? Are their things that we need to change? Do we rely to much on self and not enough on God?
4. Continually draw near to God. James 4:8 says, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” Now I do want you to understand that if you do this, God may reveal sins that you need to confess for that same passage in James also says, “Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people!”
Yes the storms are rough and hard to deal with but we have a wonderful God who is there willing to help and guide us, only if we will let Him. Be encouraged today!!!!