Summary: We need to stop just having church but become the church God intended us to be.
“Becoming the Church God Intended”
Bishop M.L. Maughmer, Jr.
Pentecost Sunday 2014
Today I am going to preach on the subject of “Becoming the church God intended, but before I do I came across this article the other day and I need to share it with you and it ties in perfectly with my message on today.
Church Charges Admission Fee
Most churches do not charge a fee for people to attend Sunday morning worship services. According to a report, a Carolina church has introduced a controversial plan to charge an admission fee for people to attend their Sunday morning service.
Mount Ebenezer Baptist Church revealed the fee was a direct result of church members and visitors not giving enough money to keep the doors open. The church’s pastor, Rev. James Lamont, spoke with local news station WSTV saying, “We realize charging members to attend church would not be a popular decision, however it was necessary to remain operational. There is a lot that goes on to make these services happen. Without a sufficient amount of donations, the church would have to operate at a loss. We are in the business of saving souls, but we are also a business. Salaries and bills have to be paid. Saving souls ain’t cheap”.
Rev. Lamont says he was reluctant to make this decision, but it was necessary because for the last six months of operating the church, it has been done with his own personal funds. If the church is to stay open, the pastor says he needs funds coming in to help with the finances of the church.
The pastor believes the fees are affordable. Members of Mount Ebenezer Baptist Church will be allowed to pay a discounted yearly membership fee of $60.00. Visitors will pay $10 at the door each time they visit. The church says there will also be a $25 family discounted admission fee for up to four family members. Children under twelve will be allowed to enter the church without paying
The fee is only for the Sunday morning service. Entrance to the church will be free on all days except for that particular service.
Matthew 10:7-8 says “And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give”.
1 Corinthians 1:21 says “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe”.
THE QUESTION IS - Is this what God intended for His church to be?
Charging a fee to attend service is not only Biblical but is a deception that is birthed from the pits of hell itself.
We are not in the business of saving souls Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”. We are commissioned to Make Disciples, to teach them to observe all things as He has commanded, Baptizing them, teaching them and building them up Ephesians 4:12:13 “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”.
YES ministry cost, it’s not cheap, but I am a firm believer that if God has called you then it’s up to Him to provide. Read Luke 12:20-59.
Oh ye of little faith.
The Church is desperately in need of a revival. She has suffered for so long in the seat of comfort and complacency that there is a desperate need for her to be awakened, and refreshed, and renewed from within. Proverbs 6:6 & 9 says “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep”. The church has been asleep, she has forsaken her calling, forgotten her name, seduced by the materialistic things of this fallen world and, worst of all, she has been distracted to the point of forgetting her first love. Revelation 2:4 says “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love”. The church today seems to have lost its first love. They have lost the love of Christ for people, for fellowship, for the work of the ministry.
Jesus came and fulfilled the Messianic prophecy. He proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom of God and lived a life that demonstrated what people of the Kingdom should be like. He had compassion for those that had not, that were stricken with infirmities and diseases. He said Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”. He wasn’t looking for those that had it all together, that had fortune and fame, power and prosperity. He was looking for the hurting, hungry, destitute, thirsty. Luke 5:31-32 says “And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”. Luke 14:23 says “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled”.