Saturday, December 31, 2005

Why People Do Not Like Church


Recently I have talked with and read about a lot of people who do not like church but who deeply love Jesus and who would be qualified as ‘True Disciples or Revolutionary Christians’ by George Barna in at least two of his recent books. (Revolution and Growing True Disciples) I have been thinking and praying about writing this article for some time and a conversation yesterday sparked a fire to jump in and address this issue. Let me say that understanding what Jesus wants for His Church and the people he has called to lead it have been one my passions ever since I was a young believer.

In my Christian life, I have read many books, articles and attended seminars, classes and conferences on various aspects of the Church. I have taken different personality, behavioral, and spiritual gift test which were advertised as tools to ‘Help me be a better Christian’. I have also had the opportunity to be a part several Churches and other Christian organizations.

Many times we want to blame ‘God’s people’, for the lack of growth or success in our lives. If we do decide that perhaps we could do better at being a ‘Christian’ in some way, we decide that we need to be ‘More Successful’. Let me say that there are many other issues that have to do with growth and success in the Christian life and we will discuss them later in a latter article.

Success?
The issue I want to address is this whole idea of ‘Success’. When faced with our own lack or perceived lack in the area of ‘success as aChristian’ we often run to be like the people who are said to be successful by other people we know. They are seen as winners in churches, sports, Hollywood or business because they have accomplished certain objectives with positive results. The results we often look for are more popularity, power, influence or more money.

What Would Jesus Do?
Some time ago there was a popular movement that asked the question, “What would Jesus Do”? Perhaps believers should ask that very same question about what success looks like as a believer, or what did Jesus say and what did Jesus do that made Him successful?

The Super Star and Survival of the Fittest Model vs. What Jesus Did and Taught
There is a great need for people who can get things accomplished. Having said that, there is a tendency to get it done without paying attention to what Jesus demonstrated to be His and the Father’s priorities, setting people free and bringing true life to them. When our success is the number of people we have applauding us and how much we have to give we are in danger of neglecting ‘the building up one another' and nurturing those we have influence on in life. Too often, we want God’s people to survive on there own, be mature and do something to help us succeed. There was even a recent article in a leading Christian magazine which basically implied to believers that only the ‘Strongest and Best Survive’ (sounds like Darvin not Jesus) in Church and they needed to get strong all by them selves or they were not measuring up.

Make Disciples of All Nations?
We often think that making disciples is the teaching of doctrine, church tradition and a personal evangelism program. There is much we can learn about making disciples from observing that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are One. They are distinct in person and in function but they are One. This oneness involves relationship even as Jesus examplified, while He was on the earth. The New testament Church was very relational in how it existed and we as believers are taught by example and Biblical teaching that our relationship to one another is important if we are to succeed at accomplishing what, Jesus came to do and teach! The Spiritual Gifts are operational in believers as a group as the Spirit works among us as well. Believers are said to be the body of Christ which requires each other functioning well to accomplish what Jesus began to do and teach. While certain people have various functions all are required and all need nurture, training and release to be living Gospels(stories of the good news) or living epistles (letters).

One reason ‘People do not like Church’ is because we who are believers are not doing ‘What Jesus Began to Do and Teach’. We need to be growing up in God’s grace and helping others to fulfill God plan for their life as well by having healthy relationships with them.

It is not that getting things done well is not important; it is however, that they need done in a way that builds up and encourages people.

Questions for Believers?______________________________
1. When is the last time that the people who are in your immediate sphere of influence were nurtured by you?
2. When was the last time you followed up with one of those people if they did not attend a regular gathering that they were usually at?
3. How long after they missed did you seek to contact them?
4. Was your follow-up out of obligation, rebuke or love and concern?
5. How often do you get together for relaxed fun and fellowship with other believers in which they feel like family and not projects or obligations?

PS. These are not style issues! Your gift or personality profiles are no excuse to neglect the people in your immediate circle of influence?

One reason people do not like church is they are not finding what Jesus said they would find! Life!


For a leadership perspective on SUCCESS please go to http://equippersedge.blogspot.com

Artwork from http://www.allposters.com/gallery.asp?aid=1592821654&c=c&search=14071



10 comments:

Daedalus said...

sorry, dude, but there are too many "christians" who see financial success as proof that god loves them. there is such a lack of real Jesus in American Christianity today that it is disgusting. It is embarrassing. Instead of arguing weather the new Narnia movie is Christian enough, shouldn't Christians be trying to help the less fortunate? It's sickening, and I am ashamed. I have moved away from Christianity because of it.

www.dimdigital.com said...

Happy New Year

Wayne Newcomb said...

Dear Daedalus

Your comment provides an example of why some people do not attend Church. There are millions of good Jesus people out there in America and many are in Churches. Some however have let our culture taint the purity and life that we have to offer. I hope you keep you heart true to Jesus as He is the way, the truth and the life. Come back again as I will be addressing "money" in the church soon.

Randy said...

Very insightful questions. Also, a lot of Christians like playing "politics" at church, trying to win the approval of church leaders rather than that of the Head of the church, Jesus.

Lowell Johnson said...

I do believe that success can show God's favor. However, I do not belive this to always be the case. Before I began attending my current church, I attended a church that had several influential people in our community. However, I was sickened at the way the pastor would make sure that these wealthy people were always made to feel welcome, but often ignored others of the congregation. I feel that a lot of this comes from the Purpose Driven model gone awry.

Cindy said...

a topic close to my heart and exactly what prompts me to write "The Contrary Christian" blog. There are times when I seriously believe that the religious institution we call church, has destroyed more people than it has rescued. We should indeed be ashamed.

kaY said...

I got a queries, coz i go thru the bible, but i am not a christian:

Is christian or catholic believe in Jesus or God???

The teaching of God or Jeses?

Anonymous said...

Jesus told us not to be like the scribes & hypocrites who go to the temple to pray, that we should pray in private...I loved church as a child...but as an adult learned about 'vain repetitions' and most Christians I rubbed elbows with in church every Sunday were hypocrites not obeying the commandments...

Wayne Newcomb said...

Hey everyone

Stay tuned for part two of this story.

Also kaY anyone who accepts Jesus as Lord of their life and confesses their sins believes He is the true Son of God is a Christian.

PS I love getting together with God's people to worship and hear His word, pray and have fellowship. When done out of the right motive and when God is allowed to be in charge going to Church is AWESOME!

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

What is church?
The building or the fellowship?

Please, read Matthew 18 of the Holy Bible to help you understand the followership and fellowship that Jesus Christ laid the foundation for us to occupy till he returns.

My beloved mother of blessed memory said, "The Holy Spirit does not live in the house built with hands or bricks. But in our hearts."

Where two or three people who are bound in the communion of the Holy Spirit are, that is their church.

Whether they meet at the corner of the street, in a pub or club. That is their church and not only when you go to one particular place of denomination with a signboard or post then you will know you have been to church.

PEOPLE DON'T NEED TO GO TO CHURCH.
BECAUSE, TRUE CHRISTIANS DON'T GO TO CHURCH. CHURCH IS NOT A PLACE YOU GO TO.

CHURCH IS THE BODY OF JESUS CHRIST. AND THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES NOT HAVE A PERMANENT ADDRESS.

We are a church. Even here on your blog we are a church.

Every Christian family is a church.

Remember the church in the house of Dorcas mentioned in the ACTS of the Holy Bible.

The church is a communion of the body of Jesus Christ moving from place to place and from home to home. Making disciples of all nations. And not one minister, vicar or bishop waiting for people to come every Sunday or any other day and he or she does not know where they even live and has never gone to visit anyone of them.

How did Jesus Christ know that Peter's mother inlaw was ill?
Did Jesus Christ live in one house waiting for people to come and join him daily or weekly to fellowship and worship God?

Do you know that it is even easier to see God than to see most of our so called ministers of God these days?

They know how to collect offerings as if they are collecting gate fees for a show.

That is why they have been promoting denominational congregations to meet at one particular place and claiming useless labels and titles such as "The largest church in America", "The largest church in Europe" or "The largest church in Africa" and competing for the Guinness Book of Records instead of winning souls for the kingdom of God.

What is church?
The church is you and I. The communion of the Holy Spirit in the true believers as they commune from place to place.And not a permanent address.

May the Holy Spirit guide and guard us all to fellowship and worship God in truth and in spirit.