Our churches are constantly telling people what they want to hear. They are constantly preaching things that don’t even convict the congregation. Many times, every other week is a salvation message. If you define the definition of a church doesn’t that become redundant? If the church resembled a sports team would you gear practices to strengthen their week spots? When Satan combats us, we are not geared to combat him. Having an 8-week series on one passage is like running one play in practice into the ground. Eventually the opponent would adapt to your simple offense. Our churches need to preach what is relevant in our lives, if not we are geared toward failure.
The top cultural problem that we deal with is idolatry. Far greater problem than most people realize. The topic of idolatry I explain in detail in an earlier post. If you haven’t read it click on the link before you continue the post sense I believe it to be on the top of the list of the church to preach about. Many men in the church deal with visual sins of lust and pornography. An uncomfortable issue to talk about on any given Sunday (football metaphor) but one that needs to be address continually. Among other topics that the church needs to talk about is gossip, fire and brimstone, and even social media.
If a team has a horrendous running defense in football much of their practice would be geared toward that. If you see a coach constantly practicing on their passing offense you will say he was a bad coach. Why when we see a pastor preaching on things that the congregation is not tempted daily we conclude he is a good pastor? When you always hear a salvation message to a church of believers you are not building up the church. If you are a believer in a church, you should already be saved. Like teaching how to throw a football in practice every day. When they go into the game of life they will be unprepared. A good verse to explain this blog would be:
Hebrews: 5:11-14 (NASB):
“Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.”
Our pastors many times give us milk. It is far easier to bring people into the church and far easier to prepare a message. You don’t have to worry about offending people. People don’t like to be offended so preachers give them milk and not solid food. Whatever your purpose is the intent of the church is for you to live a holy life and equip you to do the Lord’s work. Do essentially be a lamp stand showing God’s light attracting people to the truth of God. If you are plagued with sin you not receiving solid food, you will not be equipped period.
The purpose of the church is not growing the church. If your message is to make more people walk thru the door you’re a failure of a pastor. Your can have a church with 1000 people with 4 disciples. You can have a church of 100 with 60 disciples. What is better 60 percent success or 0.4 percent success. I see large churches with a lot of the congregation not in basic believers in Christ. It becomes just a social gathering instead of a church producing real results. Not saying that all big churches deny discipleship, but many do unfortunately. People are not surprised by the message at church. They just consume what makes them happy and not challenging them. If a team loses every game because they don’t understand the plays they will lose. This metaphor explains being told specific and substantial things on a weekly basis. Even your small group must be even more specific to the need of that group and constantly be accountable for your sins and weaknesses every week. An offensive line wouldn’t be taught the offensive playbook in their meetings. Unfortunately, people always want to hear what makes them comfortable and the pastoral staff become a reflection of that. It happens in varying degrees depending on the church you are talking about. This verse explains it all:
2 Timothy 4:3-5 (NASB):
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
These verses also explain that false teachers are very easy to come by as well. You can still have real teachers that give you milk instead of solid food on a weekly basis with a fear that people’s convictions turn into a smaller congregation. The truth should never be a fear but a requirement teaches solid food and convict your congregation to become better and do better. If not you are not doing your job as a teacher.
Linda Richardson says
“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
Ephesians 6:13-17 NLT
I think these verses are about being equipped. Pastors as Shepherds of the flock should prepare us for the world