Enjoying the Journey
American culture has invaded American churches. The desire for novelty, the tendency to boredom, the love for entertainment – all are now very prominent in the average local church. One by-product of this is the frequent migration of church members from one church to another.
It is common for churches to “trade” members with some regularity. This concept is foreign to the New Testament. In the first century church believers were just happy to have a local body of believers with which to fellowship. In the midst of a pagan society they were grateful to be part of a church, however imperfect and inconvenient it may have been.
Like everything else in our world it is easy to begin to take for granted what you have. For sure there are times for believers to leave a church. A geographical relocation, a doctrinal deviation, or a moral or ethical disruption may give legitimate grounds for change. However, most “moves” are not based on Biblical principle. They grow out of spiritual immaturity.
“The will of God” often gets the blame for the unfaithfulness of His people. Christ’s church is to be a picture of stability and soundness in a world that is always changing! The pictures used to represent the church in Scripture all carry this idea…
- A church is a family. Family members stick together.
- A church is a building. Parts of buildings don’t just walk away. Every piece is “fitly” placed together and expected to stay.
- A church is a body. Each member contributes to the whole. Together they function properly.
You may quit a job. You can rotate restaurants. You will adjust the places you shop from time to time. But believers are to be rooted in a local church.
When people play hopscotch with church they reveal that the church is more about them than about Christ and His purposes. Spiritual people aren’t looking for something better; they are seeking to be better church members and make their church better for the glory of God.
Love your local church. It’s not perfect – none of them are! Pray for the pastor and leaders. Attend the meetings. Be wholeheartedly involved. Support the work of the gospel with your tithe and offerings. Care for one another. Find a place to serve. Welcome new people with an open heart.
It is God’s church. And it is yours. Help to make it everything the Lord intended for it to become.
As I go week after week from church to church I rejoice to see people who have been faithful for many years to their local church. We need more of their kind in this generation. Good soldiers don’t run when the battle is most intense. Churches will go through seasons of struggle. They will ebb and flow. But they will move forward in God’s power through faithful people who keep pressing on.
Thank God for faithful church members!