Summary: Are leaders discipling or just serving desserts at Church? Are Christians studying or parroting?
One of the churches in the area has been having some consternation and fear about the effect of one member’s viewpoint on the new converts or "baby Christians." I contend that IF churches were discipling their new converts they would have less fears about confusion. Besides there are far more heresies and things to confuse a new convert on the Net, radio and TV than to worry about one person locally.
After all, most people do not attend churches for doctrine. They attend for the music, the fellowship, the networking and mating possibilities, etc. Most could not fight their way out of a wet paper bag defending their beliefs. They may parrot their pastor or favorite religious celebrity but could not give you a solid analysis based on Scripture as to why they believe what they do about any given issue.
Churches should pass out their doctrinal statements to their members and ask this question after every point in the document(s);
__ Agree Totally, __ Agree partially, __ Disagree, __Don’t Know __ Don’t Care."
They might be shocked to see how many areas their members including teachers and deacons would mark Disagree, Don’t Know or Don’t Care.
I have had churches send me their paperwork ad I have agreed to go and preach there in view of a call based on them . When I arrive and we start talking I have found that the people in leadeship must not have read what they sent me because they are not in agreement. Those documents may be fifty years old and have not be read nor the elements in them taught or followed in thirty years.
One asked me to come and preach and the didn’t know if they were Baptist or Methodist, Calvinist or Arminian or why the women sat on one side and men on the other during Sunday School or why they had their worship service at 10:00AM and their Sunday School at 11:00AM. I told them that I was not big on written prayers as they had in their bulletin and they said their last preacher did that and they just carried on with it. As best I could, I gave them some instruction and encouraged them to find out who they were and then call a pastor of that stripe. I am confident that they are not alone in their confusion. Many churches arein the same state.
Churches, are your leaders living up to their charge?
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 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:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. KJV