The current church growth attitude seems to say that people will be drawn to Jesus because of a pastor or church’s likability. What really draws people to Jesus is the work of the Spirit in the life of a church, not the pastor’s coolness factor or church’s marketing. The work of the Spirit will supernaturally bring forth fruit of transformation in the life of a body of believers that is so refreshing. Genuine love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control should be the magnet that draws people in. The power of God on display – healing lives, setting people free and reconciling relationships – will be the appetizing aroma drawing in the hungry soul. A pastor does not need to have a magnetic personality or wear the coolest clothes to grow a church or get the listeners’ respect. A leader who is being a Timothy will even need to occasionally correct, rebuke and encourage. It’s never super fun being rebuked. It almost feels unAmerican to be corrected by someone in spiritual authority over you — even if it is done with love. In fact, many Americans would rather change churches than receive instructive constructive criticism or instruction from a pastor. But we expect this kind of behavior in the real world from bosses and coaches. Somehow in church, we always expect to feel warm and fuzzy and entertained. Is it because we have disconnected the spirit realm from reality? Have we decided that our feelings are most important and that spiritual content is relative, based on myths and fairy tales and therefore open to personal interpretation?
After a recent sports spinal injury, we needed to find the best pediatric orthopedic doctor for our son. We didn’t look for someone cool. We didn’t care if this doctor liked the same music we liked or even if he or she had a big social media following. We chose the best doctor who would give us the soundest medical advice for our emergency situation. When we found ourselves at the office of the top pediatric orthopedic doctor at UVA, she gave us some news my son did not want to hear. She told my state-medaling track star that he could not participate in any running or jumping for three months. She was not interested in tickling his ears. She was interested in healing his spine. Why do we expect less from our pastors? Why do we just want them to be cool, popular and good at telling us what we want to hear? What if God wants us to know truth for our long-term eternal benefit and salvation even if it is not in agreement with pop culture? Are we ready to hear the truth that will affect us for eternity, even if it comes out of the mouth of someone who is somewhat uncool or nerdy?
Does your church teach the truth of God’s Word?
Are people being transformed by the Holy Spirit?
Does the church provide an environment for spiritual growth in the body?
Are you looking for a church that keeps you “comfortable” or are you willing to be challenged by the Word of truth?
Excerpt from Revealed in Ephesians the Mystery of Who I Am in Christ- to read more check out it at http://briananei.com.
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