Tozer on The Holy Spirit

12 Reasons Churches Don’t Address Decline

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The Biggest Threat Faced by the Church

What is the biggest threat faced by the church today? Many in the U.S. seem to think the answer is government tyranny. Tyranny is always a danger, but tyranny is not the biggest threat faced by the church in the U.S. or any other nation. Historically, there have been many times when the church has lived under tyranny, and sometimes the church has even grown (numerically as well as spiritually) as a result. We should remember that the entire New Testament was written when the church was a small persecuted community living under the tyranny of Rome.

 

I am not suggesting that we should play down the seriousness of tyranny. Many of our brothers and sisters around the world are currently suffering under various forms of tyranny and persecution. Their suffering is real. Those of us who are able should do what we can to help.

 

That said, we need to remember that other people, even those in political power, can only hurt our bodies (Matt. 10:28). They can’t kill the soul. If we allow Scripture, rather than click-bait headlines, to shape our answers to the big questions, we will realize that the biggest threat to the church is not something external. The biggest threat is something within. The biggest threat to the church has always been unrepentant sin – grumbling (Exod. 15:24), idolatry (Exod. 20:3), apostasy (Exod. 32), and such.

Continue: https://www.keithmathison.org/post/the-biggest-threat-faced-by-the-church

9 Reasons Church Attendance Won’t Soon Return To Pre-Covid Numbers

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Sharing Burdens in the Church

Romans 12:9-13 Be sure your love is true love. Hate what is sinful. Hold on to whatever is good. 10 Love each other as Christian brothers. Show respect for each other. 11 Do not be lazy but always work hard. Work for the Lord with a heart full of love for Him. 12 Be happy in your hope. Do not give up when trouble comes. Do not let anything stop you from praying. 13 Share what you have with Christian brothers who are in need. Give meals and a place to stay to those who need it.

Although pastors are called to care for the needs of people in the church, this duty is not theirs alone. And it has nothing to do with the size of the pastoral staff—the entire congregation is to be involved in caring for each other.

Every Christian is equipped to serve other believers. First, God has distributed spiritual gifts that enable His followers to minister in the particular ways He’s determined for each one. And second, you may have experienced challenges similar to those facing another believer, which specially qualifies you to empathize, encourage, and strengthen that person. As you pray for your pastor and congregation, ask the Lord how He would have you share the load and help meet people’s needs.

The church is a network of shoulders supporting the collective weight of everyone’s troubles. When you dive in and help hold a sister’s burden, a brother takes on a bit of yours. Although your contribution might feel small and go unnoticed by all but the individual who is helped, your heavenly Father sees and will reward you for following His command.

The next time you go to church, ask God to direct you to those who could use your help. When you extend the hands of Jesus, people find rest for their weary heart.

7 More Reasons Churches Fight

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Jesus Christ Has a Body – and It’s the Church

Here’s another excerpt from my book, Love Me, Love My Wife: Ten Reasons Every Christian Must Join a Local Church. (It’s available on Amazon, here: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Me-My-Wife-Christians/dp/1725266296/ref=sr_1_2?

[I have not red it yet.[

He says: Jesus Christ has a Body, of which each individual Christian is to be a member. If you are living as a Christian without being part of the local church, you are like a body part trying to live without being part of the body. In bodies, this leads quickly to death. In the lives of Christians, it leads to spiritual death, but much more slowly.

Maybe a simple diagram will help.

Many Christians believe that the relationship between Jesus, the Church, and the individual believer looks like this:

Christ-Christian-Church

In this view, Jesus has a personal and individual relationship with each Christian believer, apart from the Church. The Church is at the end of this relationship and is seen as optional. Since each believer has his own relationship directly with Jesus, he doesn’t need the Church. Now he may want it as a devotional aid, something to help him in his personal walk with God, but he doesn’t need it.

But the way God portrays the relationship is actually like this:

Christ-Church-Christian

Jesus has established a close, personal union with His Bride and His Body, the Church. Individual Christians are members of Christ only when they are also members of the Church. Remember: members can only live in relation to the whole body.

When Paul calls the Church the Body of Jesus Christ, he really means it. The Church is His physical, bodily presence on earth.

Coment at: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/giveusthisday/jesus-christ-has-a-body-and-its-the-church/

3 Challenging Thoughts from Charles Spurgeon Regarding the Word, the Church, and the Spirit

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10 Ways To Drive People Away From Your Church

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10 Ways to Drive People Away from Your Church

Very good reminders

By Chuck Lawless on Dec 04, 2020 01:00 am

Maybe you have some folks you want to drive from your church, but that’s not the focus of this post. My concern here is what churches do that inadvertently drives attenders toward other churches. Here are some ways to drive attenders from you:

  1. Preach something other than the Word of God. It’s true that preaching the Word also sometimes confronts and offends in a healthy way, but here’s the point: people who come looking for a Word from God won’t stay if you give them something other than the Bible.
  2. Have a boring, disorganized, irrelevant worship service. Right or wrong, the people we’re trying to reach have little patience for anything that lacks excellence or relevance. Enough churches are offering solid worship that folks don’t linger long where it’s not done well.
  3. Provide nothing for kids and teens. I’m not arguing here for always separating families in all we do as a church, but I am arguing for providing equipping and teaching that are life-stage specific. Even in COVID days, we can offer something to next generations.
  4. Let ministry needs fall through the cracks. If you want to drive people away from your church, have nothing in place to hold them up when life is hard. Let them face difficulties alone, and they’ll look for a more caring congregation.
  5. Ignore people.  Perhaps this wording sounds harsh, but that’s what it feels like when no one pays attention to a guest or member of a church. If folks can slide out the back door without our noticing, something’s wrong in the church.
  6. Provide no growth process. It seems that some churches believe people will grow significantly in their faith simply by attending regularly. When attenders realize their growth is minimal, those who want to mature will look elsewhere.
  7. Judge people, and offer no redemption. The Bible is itself confrontational. A call to repent is not an optional part of our message. If we judge and never get to redemption and hope, however, we’ll likely lose some struggling attenders.
  8. Talk about, rather than do, ministry. If you want to drive away young folks, make sure you provide no hands-on, experiential ministry opportunities. Require the staff to do all the ministry so that no one else can get involved.
  9. Don’t keep your word. Integrity among believers matters. Few people want to walk alongside leaders they can’t trust.
  10. Fall in sin. This is where this post gets really personal. Somebody’s watching you, and it’s possible somebody will leave your church if you fall into sin. Your failure can be as influential as your faithfulness.
  11. Comment at: https://chucklawless.us10.list-manage.com/track/click?u=1f66ea30867c3c2882f0eae77&id=2f6c40560e&e=e8a5edc6f6