How To Talk About Your Church (2)

Many, many thoughts were shared yesterday across America about the Sunday church services—the preaching, the music, those born again, the length of the service, the nursery, the interruptions, the coffee and donuts at fellowship time, the bulletin, the temperature in the building, baptisms, the empty pews or full-house, etc.

What were some of your comments?

Last week, I shared the first part of How To Talk About Your Church. Today I want us to consider another familiar statement made about the local church that I hope will encourage and edify.

“I’m not getting fed at our church.

Certainly it is every pastor’s privilege and responsibility to teach the Word of God (1 Timothy 3:2; 4:12-16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:2).  This mandate is not to be taken lightly.  We have been commanded to feed the flock of God (1 Peter 5:2) with “good grain” from the Word. 

That being said, the responsibility for your spiritual growth is not the pastor’s. You are to be a student of the Word (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:1-3; Hebrews 5:12-14) hiding it in your heart (Psalm119:11) and making it your own in daily application.  As the pastor feeds you, it whets your appetite to grow and know your God more and more.  If your pastor is weak in that area, pray for him.  Pray that his early morning hours will be a time of intimate relationship with God. Pray that Truth will so grip him that on Sundays he will preach from the “overflow.” The hours he spends in sermon preparation is time consuming as well as physically and mentally demanding.  Perhaps he is doing too much in ministry.  Ask him what you can do to lighten his load so he can pray and study.  He has not been “hired” to do the entire soul winning, visitation, discipleship, and administration of the church.  You need to join up with him in teamwork for the Savior.  Meet with your under-shepherd for coffee and pray that you may come to know him, encourage him and be his “Barnabas.”  Remember them . . . who have spoken unto you the word of God . . . . for they watch for your souls, as they must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief (Hebrews 13:7, 17).

I close with a reminder.  The local church consists of sinners.  It is a spiritual hospital for a sin-sick, mentally-hurting, heart-broken, doubting, discouraged, worn-out society.  For every issue of life, Christ and His Word is the answer, the remedy.  Therefore, point to Christ first in all things in the church (Colossians 1:15-19).  It is His Church. He died for it (Ephesians 5:25).

By the way, a lost world is watching and listening to us.  Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29).  What have you said about your local church this past month?  What have you said about your Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ?

See you Sunday!

Facing Opposition

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While preparing to record my weekly radio broadcast, the Lord led me to this illustration and used it to speak a needed word of exhortation to my own heart. Hence, I share it below in hopes it will encourage you, especially pastors and their flock.

When he was appointed as the pastor of a church in Cambridge, England, in 1783, Charles Simeon was delighted. The people of the church did not share his joy. Many of the prominent members of the church opposed his convictions on reaching the lost with the gospel. To show their displeasure they locked their pew boxes during the service and left them empty so that those who came to hear Simeon preach had to stand or sit in the aisles. Eventually God began to work, and Simeon’s ministry had a powerful influence on the nation of England and the world through his efforts to encourage missionary work.

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During the dark days of opposition Simeon wrote: “In this state of things I saw no remedy but faith and patience…. It was painful indeed to see the church, with the exception of the aisles, almost forsaken; but I thought that if God would only give a double blessing to the congregation that did attend, there would on the whole be as much good done as if the congregation were doubled and the blessing limited to only half the amount. This comforted me many, many times, when without such a reflection, I should have sunk under my burden.”

Opposition does not mean that we are doing things wrong—often it is evidence that we are doing things right. If we allow ourselves to be deterred from doing anything unless we have complete approval, it is certain that we will never accomplish anything of value. Rather than being discouraged by opposition, we should take comfort in God’s faithfulness and keep on doing what is right.

( https://ministry127.com/resources/illustration/standing-strong-in-the-face-of-opposition )