Thursday, March 26, 2015
People go to church for different reasons and many choose theirs like some choose a favorite restaurant. In eating places, some go the ones everybody in town or the “in crowd” goes to, often taking their “selfies” by the front door so that the whole world will know that they were there. They may even proceed to buy a T-shirt with the restaurant name and the particular city, wearing it everywhere proudly. Others go to a favorite “hang out” place, others where the food is cheap and they serve you plenty, particularly the buffets, others go to those that have the specials or the good deals, others to those that offer healthy choices, and then there are those who go to the restaurants where the food is simply delicious. My wife and I have been to the so-called popular restaurants and after we’ve eaten the meal, we look at each other and wonder “Why all the fuss and hype about this place anyway?” To be honest, the food we like the best mostly comes from places very few people know about. We consider these places our well-kept secret.
As I mentioned at the onset, churches are like that too. You have the huge ones most everybody wants to be a part of, the ones that are nearby or easy to get to, those which offer services for every family member and age group, and those which have all sorts of ministries and activities. Others go to church because they like the pastor, or the praise team, or the types of hymns or worship music that is sung there, and then there are those who attend a particular church mainly because it has sound bible teaching and preaching, the people there are friendly and caring, or they just simply feel the presence of God in that place. All true Christ-centered churches will have this last element regardless of their size, type, or denomination. If yours does not, you are probably in the wrong church.
Assuming you are in the right church, here is one thing to remember: Church growth comes primarily from the members, not from the preachers, teachers, praise team, or any other staff member. In a flock, the shepherd (pastor) cares for, watches over, and feeds his sheep, but it is the sheep that make more sheep. Did you know that, in most churches, new people start attending mostly because of something one of it’s members did or said to them? And did you know that the thing in question was mainly something small or simple? In Monday’s blog, (A Personal Inventory) I wrote about these “little things”, some of which are a word of encouragement, a sincere compliment, a call, text, or email just to say “hi”, a nice chat with a family member, loved one, or friend, where you let them do most of the talking, buying someone a taco or lunch, etc. Here’s are two biblical examples: (Proverbs 12:25) “An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.” (Proverbs 25:11) “A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I trust you are making it a point to do little things like these every day. If you do, you too will experience growth.
Memory verse for the week: (Luke 12:8) “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.”
Note: One of your fellow readers gave me this nice idea regarding the “little things” we mentioned on Monday’s blog as well as today: What if we find a friend we can be accountable to, one we can compare notes with to see how many “little things” we are doing on a regular basis? If that seems like something you would like to do but you can’t find someone else, I’ll be happy to be your partner.