When the church meets the purpose is NOT to entertain Christians with slick messages, cool songs, or hip packaging (Lighting, sound, video). Nor is it to be such that seeks to draw those who are not Christian to attend. THE purposes of church are: 1) To glorify and honor God through worship, 2) To proclaim the Gospel in a manner that also glorifies God, 3) A time for Christians to mutually edify and encourage one another in love.
If unbelievers are drawn to Christ by attending, good… but that is not the goal. Think about it. The congregational worship setting is the ONE PLACE LEFT where God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are presented to His people in the purest form without worrying about political correctness. The congregational setting is the one place left where fellow believers can hear the Gospel presented with passion, love, and conviction without fear of government intervention or being silenced by detractors. The congregational worship setting is first and primarily for believers to worship the one true God. And…
I have found over my 25+ years of preaching and teaching experience (In congregational and academic settings) that when the pure Word of God is presented, there is division. Division of those who love God and those who do not. Those who love truth and those who have their own view of truth. Those who love The Gospel and those who prefer a different gospel. Those who want to grow in their faith and those who want their ears tickled. I have come to agree with Paul from 1 Cor 11:18-20…
I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
Sadly, too many Christians aren’t willing to choose in a manner informed by Scripture.
I know this has been a little harsh, but there is good in it. A congregational setting is for those of like mind and faith, who love each other while being full of mercy, grace, compassion, and forgiveness also. Check back Wednesday, God willing, for part 2.
This is not one bit too harsh, Br. Ron. I wish more preachers would speak with this much conviction. Thank you and God bless.
In nearly 30 years of ministry, I have found your statements proven to be true. However, I have paid the price, more than once, when I have sought to lead the church’s to keep the focus on worshiping God. True, when Christ is lifted up, He will draw the saved and lost to Him. However, when a church is determined to focus on themselves, this kind of preacher gets in the way and he can (and will) easily be replaced.