Monday, August 19, 2013
10 Ways to Save the Lord's Church
As a side note, those who love the Lord and His word are not going to be interested in saving, forming, or supporting those bodies which do not conform to God's Biblical pattern for the church. Jesus said, "Every plant which my Father has not planted will be uprooted" (Matt. 15:13). I am sure that the Lord looks down from heaven upon some religious institutions who claim to be His and would rather they not exist at all (this is food for thought for us isn't it?). This article has no intention of helping anyone who is not honoring God in their religious endeavor to save something that is already dead.
At the same time, if we are a part of a local body that has formed Biblically, is worshiping Biblically, and is teaching and practicing that which is in keeping with God's will for His church - not only do we need to continue to move forward, but we need to guard against the possibility that at some point we may cease to exist as a local congregation of the Lord's church. With this in mind, consider the following ways to save your local congregation if you are beginning to see signs of weakness and even death.
1. Attend every service. When an eldership decides that the church should come together, make sure that your life revolves around the times the church meets. We need to be built up spiritually and we need to exhort each other. We cannot worship too much. We cannot have too much prayer and Bible study.
2. Be on time. Let's be serious about our relationship with God. Being habitually late to worship is a choice. There will be circumstances that will force you at times to be late - in those cases, better late than never. But to be constantly late is really unacceptable. If you did that for work or school you would get fired or serve detention.
3. Be dedicated. Some only participate when it is convenient. Some check the weather forecast. Some shy away from any work or challenge. The only growth we experience spiritually will be outside of our comfort zone. Make the decision that nothing will deter you from your spiritual walk.
4. Encourage. Give people the benefit of the doubt. As sure as gossip will harm and kill a local congregation faster than anything, exhortation and praise between Christians will quickly provide an atmosphere where love and fellowship abound.
5. Take a leading role. Sign up for something that will cause you to be responsible for the growth of others. It pains me to see so many Christians so active in their communities, who will never take on such a role in the greatest institution on the planet. If you are going to make a difference, do so in the only kingdom that will not be shaken.
6. Humbly serve with no recognition. (This is in the middle on purpose. People who do this are the true heart of God's church).
7. Communicate. All relationships demand time spent together and fruitful communication. Most church problems arise from people not understanding each other. When we open up and extend our true feelings and kindly receive the thoughts and ideas of others we can live harmoniously and do great things together for God.
8. Go the extra mile. Jesus taught this. Your willingness to go beyond what is expected will cause others to do the same. Many times while running with a friend I have been ready to quit - but they wanted to go farther. I don't know exactly how, but every time I have found a way to join them for the extra mile.
9. Give sacrificially. If the only time or money you have given to your local church is what you have leftover, I feel sorry for you. Because this means you have never experienced the blessings that come from giving like Christ.
10. Be evangelistic. Evangelism is not a one-time door-knocking campaign. It is not the yearly "Bring-a-Friend Day." Evangelism is a way of life. We are here because we are standing on the shoulders of true evangelists. God help us to renew our plea to save the lost.
I love God. I love His church. I love you. We can do this together.
"For Christ, our dear redeemer, for Christ, who died to save, for the church his blood has purchased, Lord, make us pure and brave." ~ Eliza Hewitt (1890)