Here is a question we all need to ask ourselves, and one that leads us to today’s Life Lesson.
“Who’s to blame; my church or me?” (Regarding our spiritual growth.)
To answer that question, we need to ask a few others:
When did you become a Christian?
To better define that question let me ask it in another way:
When was the first time you invited Jesus Christ to be the Lord (boss) and Savior of your life?
Since that time of Salvation, can you honestly say that you have pursued Jesus, the Holy Spirit,and God in a relationship that by simply living your everyday life, you and others around you, have noticed a difference from who you once were?
If yes, then can you look back at this time last year, and see if you have grown in your relationship with Him since then?
- What about this time last week?
- Have you grown deeper in your relationship with God since yesterday?
We live in a world that is all about promoting “Me-ism.” (Everything is all about me.) And sadly enough, we have taken this concept into our churches.
- Was the pastor funny enough to keep me off Facebook though the sermon?
- Was there free childcare?
- Did my kids get entertained with the latest and greatest?
- Did the worship music sound pleasing to my ears and was it too loud?
- Did I get a close parking spot?
- Was the seat comfortable enough?
- Was it to dark or too bright?
- And did I get what I needed form either the pastor or someone else?
We enter the church as a Consumer instead of a Server. This kind of thinking has led us to our personal spiritual destruction. The church (building) is NOT meant to create you to be a Super Christian.
I’m sure you’ve heard the famous quote; “Going to church does NOT make you any more of a Christian than walking into a garage makes you a car.”
The purpose of the church is for worship and spiritual edification. It is YOUR responsibility and YOURS alone to take what the church amplifies from God’s Word and apply it to every area of your life.(Example: Finances,marriage, parenting, work, ect.) THEN, it falls on YOU and YOU alone to share that life changing information with those around you.
If we simply enter into a relationship with God at the moment of Salvation, and never take the matter of spiritual discipline and growth into our own hands, we remain as spiritual babies and can never grow past the elementary stages of a Christian. (1 Cor. 3:2, Hebrews 5:12, 1 Peter 2:2)
Yes, the church does play a huge role in your spiritual development. And all that depends on how healthy your church is according to the Bible’s standards (Example: It is run by a board of elders, deacons and pastors; and not a “one-man-band-show”, it acknowledges and teaches the existence of the Holy Spirit and the active gifts He provides and how to operate in them, etc.)
Again, it falls on YOU to find a church that is healthy (physically and spiritually) according to God’s standards and not man’s. Do you see how YOU play the main role of spiritual growth in your life?
The church is not meant to “hold your hand” as you walk through your WHOLE life. A child learns to walk as they fall down multiple times. It’s the same concept for us as Christians. How foolish would we look if we grew up into adults still needing assistance to walk from our parents, simply because of our laziness?
As a Kid’s Pastor, (and now a parent myself) I sometimes need to remind parents of what God’s Word says in Deut. 6:5-6, that they are the primary teachers and disciples of their children’s spiritual growth, NOT the church and it’s leaders. As an adult, it is also our choice to either grow in our own spiritual growth or choose to remain the same and NOT grow at all. It is NOT your pastor’s job for you to grow spiritually.
Can you imagine how the church would be if every single Christian adult chose to never grow up in their walk with God? It would be a chaotic place of whiners and complainers……
(oh wait…. most churches are like that already.)
This is a wake up call to all my fellow believers. No more excuses! It’s time to grow up! Take responsibility over your own life (and your families). Don’t be a consumer. Be a server. Find a healthy local church. Grow in it and serve in it to reach others for God’s Kingdom. To learn more of what a healthy church looks like you need to read: “The Purpose Driven Church” by Rick Warren, and this AMAZING article of truth http://www.creationliberty.com/articles/onepastor.php showing the biblical standpoint of leadership in the church.
Get in the Word of God daily. Worship Him through your actions, your words, your thoughts, your entertainment and friends. Choose today to start the growing process. It’s not about a list of do’s and don’ts. It’s about a relationship with the God of the universe, His Son and sweet Spirit. Will it be easy? No. Jesus even said in John 16:33 “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Through the “Growing Pains” we rest and fall on Jesus.
It’s time to grow up. It’s time to mature. So….. ask yourself again…. “Who’s to blame; my church or me?”
What actions will you take today, right now, to GROW?