Monday, June 10, 2013

The Pretty Good Commission

This blog has been a while coming. It’s been gestating since March. However due to work load and general malaise on my end I hadn’t got around to doing all my research.

Part 1
Why to attend church. 

Why to attend church is easy, pretty much remedial if you have been raised in church(s). 
The best reason is again found in Hebrews ch10 vs 25 “not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

The Bible tells us to go to a church, to assemble to help each other and ourselves in our faith.

It’s super easy to not go to church. You are tired, you are busy, you went last week or you just don’t want to. You are only home for a limited time and  you have “better stuff to do” 
I lived a life of looking for reasons not to attend for a long time. From the end of church on Sunday til Sunday morning before leaving for church I was searching for a reason to no go.
Sometimes for me its because I know what my life is like and what a sinner I am. I felt if i went to church I was just another hypocrite. 
I thought I’d be judged by the people at the church, I could feel their eyes on me. I found ways to not go.

Then there are the people who miss because they are “good people” and don’t need to be there every Sunday. Y’know the really sunny and warm Sundays.

If you are not at a church you are missing something. You aren’ going to lose your salvation necessarily but you are going to miss something.
It’s like when you come home from a long day of work or just goofing off and you see that tag on your door that says you just missed a delivery.
You didn’t get that package because you weren't there when it was dropped off.
Thats how Sundays are, sometimes its something super important and sometimes its just a catalogue but you can’t sign for it if you aren’t Home.

So you have to attend church, that is a black and white Bible fact.

Seek first the Kingdom of Heaven.  When I was a kid we listened to the radio more than anything else. CD’s weren't around and I didn’t have many cassettes.  The thing about the radio that was bothersome was if you turned the dial and were just a smidge off the station you got a static interference that kinda ruined the experience.

When you miss church especially out of selfish reasons you are just a hair off station from God and your week will be filled with noise. 
Go enough weeks without it and just like the dial on the old FM radio you will start to pick up other stations and muddy the content you wanted to hear.

Part 2
Follow the Leader

Just attending isn't the end of it though. Just because a body is present doesn't mean its functioning. Look at Stephen Hawking for example. His head works beyond amazing but his body is "just there". Christ is the head of our body but some of us are unmoving.

I attend Lifepoint here in Lebanon as most of you know. I am dedicated to my church more than I have ever been to any church.
The reason for this dedication is our Leadership and our vision. 

I know what Lifepoint stands for, I’ve talked to the pastor and a few leaders in the church I know they have God’s plan for our church and our community in mind and I will follow them.

Christ is the head of the church (His body) and our leaders are nervous system of that body. They receive the vision from the head and they tell the body to move. As part of that body in order to be effective I HAVE to move with them.

Leaders aren’t perfect mind you no one is. Especially some of the greatest  
Bible heroes. They were flawed in some way. Just read about the David, Samson, Peter, or Paul and see the ways they failed and how they still managed great things for the Glory of God.

If a leader in a modern church did what David did how would we treat them?  How have we treated them? Look at the fall of some prominent preachers and see.
Failure doesn’t always make you a hypocrite sometimes it just makes you human.

Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt, they wandered, and wandered. However Moses knew the vision God had given him and the promises he was made and he eventually saw that vision realized.

Our leaders might lose their way from time to time but as long as they are seeking God we will find our way.

They must be supported by the people. As the congregation we are not the checks and balance system for the church. We do not admonish or correct our leaders in the church. There is a system set up for that. We support out leaders.  We support them when they are doing a great job and we support them harder when they are not.

That is one huge reason people leave churches.  When members of the congregation take it upon themselves to "police" and second guess their leaders.

We support them when we can “Amen” something they said and we support them when they step on our toes.

You may not always agree with them but you didn’t always agree with your parents decisions either when you were under their leadership. 
Visions are often long term and our leaders know more about situations than we do. They have to sos we have to follow or get out of the way.

The Bible tells us to support in spirit and deed.

Hebrews 13:17 says “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.”

1 Tm 5:17 
Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching

1 Ths 5:12-13 
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves

We at Lifepoint are lucky we have leaders that fall under 1 Peter 5:3 “Not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.” 

Our leaders live lives that we can look to as example. Whether it is conquering addiction thru Christ, having strong marriages or having a heart that constantly sings to God.

Part 3
I Said All That to Say This

Serve, serve and serve.

Even if it’s something simple, greeting, taking out the trash, handing out bulletins it takes a little pressure off the leaders who have way bigger things on their mind.
For every thing you see the leadership team or paid staff do there are dozens you don’t see.
There are pressures and responsibilities that you and I couldn’t handle or we would have been called ourself.

Finally.......

If you are not in one already, find a church that believes the black and white of the Bible. A church where the leaders have a vision and are actively trying to achieve it. 
Not where they are just content to have the same faces there every week.
Join the vision and become part of the process. 

Thanks for reading
Alan
(Brother Whiskers)



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