I love this Church. I really do. I refer to it as my Church, not because I am the Pastor but because I belong to it. Everyone here also claims it cheerfully as their Church. The happy truth about it is that it is really God’s Church and together we are all His.
I read blogs and on Face Book about people who say the Church of God is in trouble. They say people are not attending as much as years gone by. They complain about the Pastor and about rules and in general, they complain about everything.
I also have seen some people how they spoil their children by giving in to their every demand. The kids pout and cry if their way is delayed. That is what I call a dysfunctional family and I am glad it does not represent my house or my Church.
What Makes for a Good Church?
Just as in a family where there is a Father and a Mother who watch over their children, the Church is the same way.
We have one father, God, our shepherd and the Pastor, the under shepherd. Then we have ministry leaders, teachers and adults. Then we have teens and the young ones. It’s a system like Jethro, Moses’ father in law, shared with him. My great grandparents had sixteen children and it was a progression of leadership. The parents did not need to attend to every detail as each child was responsible for the next one down.
First, We have Rules.
I have heard so many complaints from others writing about their Churches against the rules. They point out that young people do not like them and they stop coming to Church.
Wow, children who want things their own way. Who ever heard of that?
Children want rules. They want to know that you will enforce the rules. They will test the rules and in the end, they will enjoy the rules.
Rules show the kids that you care for them. Only strict rules work because if they do not see you being consistent, they will not respect your leadership.
It works here. We have rules to come to Church when the doors are open, to not come late, to not speak when the Pastor is preaching or the teachers are speaking. We have rules about proper speech and being neat and respectful. We have rules about reading their Bible and practicing their instrument (if they are involved in music) or singing in the choir or going down to the basketball court to play basketball.
We have loads of good rules. These are rules that are needed for us to all coexist.
Anyone who has played some kind of a sport has experienced rules. In the sport, if the rules are not obeyed, the offender sits on the bench. It’s the same way here. By the way, no one likes to sit on the bench so they usually come around and join our society. If someone really can’t obey the rules, it’s too bad but we send them on their way. Wide is the way the Bible says and we do not cater to those who will not abide.
There is always going to be someone who cannot abide and does not have the discipline to be a functioning Christian. We do our best to bring them around but if not, we have to let them go.
We have pretty much the same rules for adults as for the children and we have a happy Church.
At any given time you can do a surprise visit to our Church and if everyone does not look happy something would be seriously wrong.
Before the service starts we always have a group of kids who are singing songs or playing their guitars. Sometimes you will think the service has already started by their enthusiasm. Well, I guess it has started, wherever three or more are gathered…
The Church that Prays Together, Stays Together.
When I first started this Church, we had forty minutes of Bible study on a Wednesday night and then we had prayer. Come Sunday night I did the same thing. Someone said afterwards, “Pastor, do you realize we had prayer on Wednesday and you did it again tonight”. I said, “no I didn’t but it seems to be a good idea”. The more we pray the closer to God and so we have had Bible and prayer twice a week for seven years now.
We do things together as a Family
We have Christian summer camp one week each year. We have Vacation Bible School for one hundred kids, we have Christmas Celebration and caroling. We have the Church Picnic. We go into the community every Saturday to bring the word of God to the Payatas.
We even hope and dream together as we pray for the vision of the PBC Compound where we will have a huge sanctuary and an outdoor covered area to evangelize thousands. We look forward to an auditorium where we can fit all of our musicians at one time and classes that will keep the sound of noisy vehicles and barking dogs away when we study and pray.
The Shepherd Knows His Sheep
I could start a meeting and immediately stop and say, “Where is so and so”?
I know when a lamb is missing and they know that there are not too many good excuses for missing Church so if they are not there, I become concerned. “Have you seen them? Texted Them? Have they texted you”? If your Pastor isn’t worried when you don’t show up, change Churches!
That’s pretty much it. Having love for each other is essential. You should be able to forgive, to help each other climb the ladder and just be the person that God wants you to be.
Finally, There is no such Thing as a Super Pastor
Our Church is great but it is not because of me or anyone else. It is because when God speaks we listen. We have learned (mostly) to obey and to hear His voice.
I have heard people saying how we need to use the Hebrew and Greek and the KJV is not sufficient. I have had invitations to join Pastoral workshops on how to make a bigger or richer or better Church. I can not believe there are still people who think they have all the answers but most of them are not Pastors or have collapsing Churches.
At PBC , God gives the commands and I pass them on and together we are blessed as we obey Him.
The bottom line is that it is working and working well. We are overflowing our Church with people, peace and joy and spreading the word to all that we can. Isn’t that the kind of Church we all should have?