(See blogs from last two days)
We are looking at some interesting observations – at least I think they are interesting – and speak volumes about the health of the Church today. The last two blogs have briefly mentioned ten things I am observing. Let’s continue on from there…
11> Christians today are not walking by faith and really have a lack of faith in God. They apparently have a very small and impotent image of God in their head and heart. Maybe it is because they believe that God has failed them in the past. It could be because no one has taught them how to “stand in faith” and believe for something. But they certainly do not walk by faith in their daily life. And, few are setting ‘faith goals’ where they are believing God for something big that only He can accomplish. Matthew 9:29 seems to mean nothing.
12> There is a large entertainment factor in a number of churches today. The music is loud, lights flash, dry ice floating across the platform, modern technology, video for announcements, and more singing and performing than worship. And, it is seriously obvious that the presence of God is absent and apparently very few are aware of this. It is as if God is noting His disfavour of what is happening by simply not showing up in power – or even at all. He seems unimpressed with our performance and simply is not willing to “play church” and bless it.
13> Seldom do we see community formed when members truly interact and engage with one another – loving one another as the Scriptures tell us we should. Many attend but few engage. This is partly the performance mentality (see #12 above) where people come to watch a ‘concert’ and so don’t feel the need to engage or even participate. However, this is not how the Church was designed to be. Those who are followers of Jesus are meant to be in community as part of the “called out ones” and are meant to be inter-connected one with another. They are to know, love, support, encourage, and pray for and with one another. They cannot and should not stand alone and simply spectate.
14> There is a real lack of life in the Church. I don’t mean hype with smoke and mirrors. I mean the very life and nature of God present, experienced, and embraced. The Bible states that “In Jesus was life (Zoe – essence, presence, nature of God) and this life was the light of men (John 1:4). People were attracted to Jesus because of the “life” in Him. Jesus tells us that “we are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). And this means that the life of God in us as it rises from our inner most being and flows out like a river is the light to those who do not know Jesus. This “life” attracts people and brings them into contact with God and eventual entrance into the Kingdom. This life is sadly lacking in most churches today.
15> People are not being discipled and so are not growing into maturity. Many who have attended church services for years and have heard hundreds of teachings from the Bible are not mature and certainly not reproducing. There is a need for a “Timothy Ministry” to arise in every church where new believers, as well as immature believers, are discipled in the basics of the Christian faith so that they can become mature, contributing members of the Body of Christ as well as reproducing themselves as they make disciples on their journey through life every day.
16> Not only is there a shortage of discipling – there is a dangerous lack of mentoring within the Body of Christ – the Church. Young men and women are not being mentored into their callings and ministries. They are not being helped and equipped by those already in the ministry and who have the same calling. Seasoned apostles should be mentoring younger apostles; seasoned prophets mentor younger and immature prophets. Only in this way can we build from one generation to the next.
Maybe more tomorrow….