Please believe me when I say, I write this with all humility. I believe it comes from a heart inspired by God. The message is to make both Pastors and members aware of the problems that are in the Church and perhaps you have become so used to them that you no longer notice.
Here is why so many Churches are failing:
1- I am in the Philippines but this could be anywhere. It’s a syndrome called “Filipino Time” and in essence, it justifies perpetual lateness as it is really part of the culture. In America you might call it, “Fashionably Late.”
I call it what it is and that’s SIN! Look, if you get hit by a car and have to go to the hospital and show up for Church late, that is forgivable but if you come late because your kids slowed you down, you had to wash your clothes, the traffic was bad… I’m going to stop there. I live ½ hour from Church and I am always an hour early. I do that to anticipate traffic, breakdowns… You get the idea.
You know it’s funny. If you were going on a vacation, everyone would be up and at it it hours early in their excitement. There is usually, no excuse for being late.
By the way, when you are late you show lack of respect to your fellow Church members, your Pastor and to God Himself, the most important one of all.
How about if you were going to meet the President? Would you be on time?
What especially irks me is when people walk in late, the Pastor is speaking and they are waving to their friends and talking like they were rock stars. Come in, sit down and shut up!
2- People who come when they feel like it. If your Church is like mine, you have promised to support it in various ways but one of those way is with your presence.
This is a rule that you come whenever the doors are open:Heb 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
Pastors, look at those who come Sunday morning. Do they also come Sunday night and Wednesday night and for special meetings of the Church? If they don’t, give them a warning and if it continues, throw them out. They are worthless. The Holy Spirit convicts us of these things so if they are refusing let them join the JW’s. I kid not.
Listen to what Jesus said:
Mat 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Pastor, you are not to build the Church. You are to Shepherd the Church. Jesus will build it and your job is to throw the ones that continue to be a bad influence on others, OUT!
SO many Churches have problems getting their members to go door knocking. First let me say, door knocking never builds a Church. It builds discipline. Last week we had 64 doorknockers (which is most of our small Church) People usually do not visit because of them. They see our sign or hear about us or find us on the Internet or many other ways that God leads them to us but He won’t lead them from door knocking or we can claim that our efforts built the Church. Remember—Christ builds His own Church. Besides, I don’t want a Church that I can build. It’s like saying my nine year old will build our house. Let Jesus build it. He knows what He is doing.
By the way, if most of your Church is not door knocking, throw them out and start a new one. Yes, I know, I am too tough but, most of our Church goes door knocking and we have a very happy Church so how bad could it be?
Ask your members this question: If I give you a thousand bucks will you go door knocking with us this week? If the answer is yes, throw them out. They just told you they won’t do it for Christ but for money they will.
If I see someone using a cell phone during service I will send them home. If I see people talking when I am preaching I will embarrass them in front of the entire Church. I don’t mind crying babies but disrespectful adults I have no use for.
Here is the logic. I am the man that God chose to head this Church (Don’t question it, I don’t know why either but the Bible says that God uses the foolish things to confound the wise) Anyway, if I am giving the message that God gives me and you are talking, you miss the message. Not only that but the person you are speaking with misses the message and perhaps some people around you miss the message because of you, they could not hear. The solution, I tell you once in front of the Church and yes, I hope you are embarrassed you just interrupted the word of God. Think I am wrong? Check your Bible: 1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
If you want to act like children I am going to treat you like one. If you accept the rebuke and learn, you will do fine.
It’s true. Sermons and prayer meetings can get boring if you do them the wrong way. I always said, the Bible is a thick book. Don’t try to preach it all in one sermon.
There is a normal condition in our lives called an attention span. It’s not the same for all people. Some have long ones and some short. I like to keep my sermons under thirty minutes. I incorporate a moral that the people can use to uplift their lives and to follow God more closely. However, there are preachers who preach up to three hours. Even Paul almost caused a kid to be killed from his long preaching. Not everyone can take it. You are better giving them solid scripture to enhance their learning than three hours to enhance their sleeping. If you want your Church to grow, don’t bore people by giving them flowery words or Greek and Hebrew or showing them how smart you are.
I know Pastors who spend eight hours preparing sermons. However they are presenting their word, not Gods. I pray, ask God to give me the message, sit down and write what He says and it’s done. Bible studies, we open the Bible and go through it word by word. I ask questions, I make associations and I explain how all scripture is like a mirror reflecting back on us to rebuke or to correct or to gain knowledge.
I have two prayer meetings per week and a full Church. This is how it works. Wednesday and Sunday evening service consists of 40 minutes of Bible study and then prayer.
We all sit together and we go around the room praising God, telling our problems or seeking prayer for something. My rule is no long praying. You can do that at home. If you feel led to pray, pray what is on your mind. Too many times I was bored to tears while someone went “er, ah, eh,” trying to think of how much more they could pray to impress the people. We pray for the most important thing or a few requests and then the next one goes. If they don’t wish to pray they tap the next person on the shoulder to pray. It works fantastic. We are lifted up by genuine prayer and I know God is happy with us.
Your prayer meeting does not have to be boring. By the way, whoever does not attend prayer meeting, throw them out!
I don’t want to sound like a bad guy. Come and ask the members what they think of me. I love them very much and they love me back. In all humility, this is the best church I was ever in before in my life and my members will say the same thing.
Again, not by anything I did. I only followed God’s instructions. If you are happy with partial attendance, people on the cell when you are preaching, not showing up or coming late, talking during service, then you like me, have found your nirvana!
Let me add this. Don’t be so aloof. You need to have the respect of the Church but you also need to have fun with the Church. One of the things that I say (yeah, I know, I say a lot) is if you are not having fun, get out! The house of God is a family. You discipline, you love, you teach and you play. Make sure the Church enjoys being the Church.
God Bless you all and if I hurt anyone’s feelings.