Sunday, December 18, 2005

Think Deeply: The Church

I want to think in community with you.
A humble and deep question: As you read the New Testament, what is the one thing evangelical churches are missing today?

13 comments:

Dallas Taras said...

Discipleship. I know that there are many church's doing this today, but there are a lot that are not. This is one thing that our church is doing and you would not believe the growth and relationships that are built. Especially with young people, they need that older and more mature person to teach and guide. This is what I think is one of the biggest things missing these days. Just my observation ...

Sarah said...

I think it's the word that is missing. It is being replaced with extra things that are more interesting. (video clips, plays, motorcycle give aways) I think that sermons are no more than 15 or 20 minutes long in most churches. People have lost the hunger to sit and hear the word being exposited. Pastors are not equipping their flocks with how to study the word. So people today have a very shallow view of God. They see God as their personal genie. I think this is the main thing that is missing....is a true study of God's word. All other problems within the church stem from this issue!

Sorry- I am just so overwhelmed by people today who claim Christ- but they have no idea who God really is. They have no hunger to seek the word for who God is and what He expects of us. They do not want anything to do with the bible at all. If scripture is offensive in the sense that you don't want anything to do with it....something is wrong! We are supposed to treasure this book! It is our life line! Paul is always saying to watch out for a false gospel! I think our world is being dominated by churches that bring forth the very thing that Paul preached against. This is because they lack the word.

The Once Dead Poet said...

To me, the biggest thing that is missing is the sense of community among believers. I've been studying the distinctives of the church in Acts lately and the thing that sticks out to me is their devotion to one another and to fellowship.

The U.S. is full of Sunday Christians, people who attend church once a week and have nothing to do with the church (meaning the body of believers, not the building) the rest of the week. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that Christianity has become more of a social distinction than a way of life. The privitization of our society has infiltrated the church.

The believers in the early church understood how vital fellowship and discipleship were to their faith. Their lives were so interconnected that they were willing to give up every bit of their extra time and resources for the sake of those in the church who were in need. And when circumstances dictated, they even gave out of their poverty.

That sense of community is non-existent in evangelical churches in the U.S.

Dallas Taras said...

Yeah, I agree with all of the above. "Church" to so many people has become a social gathering or club for "good people" to come and talk about superficial things with superficial attitudes. However, they walk out the door and blend in with their surroundings by denying Christ with their lifestyle. Great posts all!

Sarah said...

Okay, I can say one more because mine is two fold! APPLICATION of the word being taught(James 1:22- 25). Our churches lack the word most of all, but second we lack application. It is very easy even in a church like ours where the word is taught so boldly and well- to get caught up in the knowledge part. I know that I struggle with this often.

I think my two comments counts as one!

Stephanie Cherry said...

I agree with Sarah! Where is the complete unadulterated truth of the Lord Jesus Christ? It is a rare find. I'm not even sure I have seen it to be honest. We don't teach people to love God. I hear over and over how it is a great gift to know and believe Him, but I have only once heard someone say they do know and believe Him. It seems all application and formula - the purpose driven everything that has no eternal reward. Why are we so "ambitous" in the church and miss the truth of everything He is?

T.B. Vick said...

Genuine worship. Sacramental worship with the Lord's table being practiced every Lord's day, public confessions of sins being made, and a true sense of God's Holiness presented in the worship through the peaching of the Word.

All these are essential to worship, and most are almost non-existent in Evangelical Protestant Churches today.

Mark Redfern said...

Biblical preaching - "the whole counsel of God."

Sarah said...

Hey Stephanie- I encourage you to read "The attributes of God" by A.W Pink! (you may have already) but it has given me such a good biblical view of who God is! It is a small book-but jam packed with scriptures....I think this book, second to the bible, has changed my life more than any other! To have such a right view of God = having a right view of sin and self! But I agree with you that in the business of trying to live the right way, we forget whom we are living for! We forget to stop and meditate on His divine attributes and just be quiet in absolute reverence and awe of Him! But I think that when I stop and realize all of these things, I can have application that is not self focused. So then it is lasting! In response to your statement about not finding a church that preaches the gospel untarnished, and I do not say this pridefully- I know everyone loves thier church, but I can say that the church we attend does preach Christ and Him crucified- and it is the unspoiled gospel! We hear the word exposited with boldness every week. I am so thankful that the Lord has lead us to this church. As I look around at the churches I have visited- or know about thier theology, I am amazed at how few churches preach the true gospel- unblemished. But there are some out there who are dedicated to teach the truth.

Okay Justin! We want to hear what you think is the one thing that is missing in our churches today!

ShapeNoteSinger said...

Membership. Not names on a roll, but a vital connection of parts--one with another and, of course joined to the head, the Lord Jesus Christ.

If our union is not more than juxtaposition, our faithfulness is in jeopardy because all we've committed to is being part of a club and there is no life in that.

ShapeNoteSinger said...

oops! I should've read what you all said before I answered the question! My comment would've been "Yeah! What they said!"

I'm glad to see that several are on the same page about church life.

God bless us, everyone!

justin said...

Sorry it has taken me a day or so to write my answer. I have been and continue to be sick.

I agree wholeheartedly with The Once Dead Poet above. When I read the book of Acts, I see community. Today, we hide behind our privacy fences and don't allow many people into our lives. I would encourage you all to study all the "one anothers" in the Bible.

Stephanie Cherry said...

My church preaches the Gospel. I think the rare find is to find that not mingled with pride and personal ambition "for Christ." I thought I had until the veil was lifted from eyes and I began the glorious trek of being on ministerial staff. It is hard to convince even pastors to exalt Jesus alone.