Saturday, December 25, 2010

Boring Churches

Can you imagine adults sitting in a large classroom listening to the same tired old talks about adding 2 + 2 and how to spell c-a-t? Yet we do that in many church assemblies. No wonder so many Christian people stop attending services. They are bored to distraction by elementary teachers repeating elementary teachings to adults.

As an educator I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that for several years of church work I failed to realize that some adult believers are babes in Christ who need milk but others are grown-up adults who can chew meat. I suppose I came by that point of view because I always attended churches that gathered adults together in one big room to be "fed" by the "Pastor/ Shepherd of the sheep." (We were the sheep.) Everybody ate the same food and we all sat with mouths open in anticipation whether we had just come to the Lord or were veterans of fifty spiritual years.

Hebrews 6 gives us a completely different point of view. When I read it I can clearly see that the Spirit who inspired the Bible understood developmental stages of growth and change. God is an educator who develops some teachings for Babes and others for Disciples and still more for us in Ministry. Would we present the same things to my four-year-old grand daughter as we would to her mother?

1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death and of faith in God, 2 instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

3 And God permitting, we will do so. (NIV)

Any Pastor who wants to really feed his/her people will develop ways to discern where they are spiritually and offer them food that is specifically designed for that stage of spiritual growth. Most people covet large numbers with lots of money and bottoms in the pews. They love fat churches not big, strong, healthy churches. No wonder there is so little long term change happening. Only by making strong disciples will we become effective in our ministries.

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