Summary: Every believer longs to have a great church experience, here are some ways to accomplish that!
It’s Not About Me… When It Comes To:
Video Clip: “Me Church”
(KJV) 24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25Not 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.
BARNA RESEARCH: Only 17% of adults said that "a person’s faith is meant to be developed mainly by involvement in a local church." Only (18%) firmly embraced the idea that spiritual maturity requires involvement in a community of faith.
In commenting on this data Barna writes: "These figures emphasize how soft people’s commitment to God is. Americans are willing to expend some energy in religious activities such as attending church and reading the Bible, and they are willing to throw some money in the offering basket. Because of such activities, they convince themselves that they are people of genuine faith. But when it comes time to truly establishing their priorities and making a tangible commitment to knowing and loving God, and to allowing Him to change their character and lifestyle, most people stop short. We want to be ‘spiritual’ and we want to have God’s favor, but we’re not sure we want Him taking control of our lives and messing with the image and outcomes we’ve worked so hard to produce."
HOUSE Churches: A new study, found that 9% of adult professing Christian attend a house church during a typical week. (For clarity, the survey distinguished between involvement in a house church and participation in a small group bible study that is associated with a conventional church.)That is remarkable growth in the past decade, shooting up from just 1% to near double-digit involvement. In total, one out of five adults attends a house church at least once a month. Over the course of a typical month, that number doubles to about 43 million adults. Many say they attend House churches because they tend to be less confrontational and focus more on their concerns.
What are the reasons for these statistics? I praise the Lord for our church’s growth and the ministries… but we must continually examine why it is that we come to church…
Quote: John MacCarther (in The Truth War) boldy states: “Much of the visible church nowadays seems to think Christians are supposed to be at play rather than at war. The idea for actually fighting for doctrinal truth is the furthest thing from most churchgoers thoughts. Contemperary Christians are determined to get the world to like them – and of course in the process they also want to have as much fun as possible. They are so obsessed with making the church seem “cool” to unbelievers that they can’t be bothered with questions about whether another person’s doctrine is sound or not. Christians have bought into the notion that almost nothing is more “uncool” in the world’s eyes than when someone shows a sincere concern about the danger of heresy. After all, the world simply doesn’t take spiritual truth that seriously, so they cannot fathom why anyone would.”
Listen, If we have the wrong foundation, we can’t build anything lasting… many Christians struggle because of this… their focus has shifted entirely to themselves, and in doing so, they have neglected God’s purposes for the church… Let’s look at those purposes together:
Look again at verse 24, as we see the first step in gaining the right perspective about church
24And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (We are to motivate each other to acts of Love and Good Works) in short, church isn’t about me!
I. Don’t Forget to go to Church
The Greek word for “Forsake” means to leave something important behind has you go on a trip…
Illustr: XYZ trip to Nashville, I left all of our clothes behind… There are a lot of Christians walking around spiritually naked because they ran off in life and forgot to go to church…
This verse isn’t a Barna study result… this is a command… we often read it like “ A lot of people are failing to go to church” God isn’t giving us information, He is giving us a command… 25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves
A. together, God wants us come together (The FIST)
B. as the manner of some is; (Our culture does not like commands, they like suggestions… God doesn’t give suggestions… God understands something… He’s smarter than me… He knows what is best for my spiritual growth.
C. but exhorting one another: (Corporate worship flourishes out of individual worship… If you are not worshipping God through the week, you will arrive here spiritually anemic, which causes a whole host of problems… that’s why churches split, that’s why churches go down hill… a group of people are coming together on Sunday, who have not spent any time worshipping Christ and growing personally through the week… and all of a sudden It’s ALL ABOUT THEM!)