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My OPINION on Church Decline - PART 2

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Abraham InetianborIn part one of this topic, I addressed PARENTS, POLITICAL HYPOCRISY, HUMAN TRADITIONS and DESERTED YOUTHS. This part 2 will focus on some very critical points that often gets ignored. I will cover: PRIDE - MONEY - PULPIT MINISTRY - DISENGAGED ADULTS. Again, I'll let everyone draw whatever conclusion they want to. You have the right to disagree with whatever I have to say but please, don't tell me that whatever is currently being done in most congregation is working because it's not. If it worked for the past decade or two then we won't be having these discussions. I'm not going to add racial discrimination to this list as requested by some of you who read part one of this topic. It is way too obvious and speaks for itself in whatever congregation it exists - not just in "black" or "white" churches but also in congregations with diverse memberships. Feel free to go read my other posts on racial discrimination.


There are obviously a lot of factors both internal and external that affect church growth. Generally, we have little to no control over external factors like society and government but we have most, if not all the control over how best to grow the church spiritually on the inside only if we want to. Those of you who are not members of the Lord's church may find this piece a bit confusing or "uninteresting" but I encourage you to still read it. Maybe one day if you decide to become a child of God, you will be able to help your local congregation grow if they are the kind that listens.

Variety may be the spice of life but priority should be our plan for life. Just in case you can't already tell, I love variety but too much of anything is bad for anyone; same on the reverse. What we prioritize and how we prioritize it determines how much energy we are willing to spend on it. Yes, people say that most church events and classes are either not being attended or taken seriously. Let's be clear, I'm not God and worship on this list of priority. Have we ever asked ourselves if this is because we have way too many of these events and classes in attempt to satisfy everyone when some of these events and classes could be easily combined for effectiveness and efficiency? Just had to ask because someone brought it up after my previous "part one" post.

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In part one I addressed "human traditions" as part of the problem. Just to quickly clarify, human traditions are rules we create to replace what God wants. It's not "just an opinion" like some of you said. An opinion is not rigid especially when there is biblical backing to remove any doubts. These rigid stance is where the problem lies. A couple of years ago, a friend called me from California and expressed how disappointed he was with the way his congregation engages with the young adults. This caused his departure from that congregation and eventually from the Lord's Church. When I asked why desert God all together, the response I received was shocking but not the first time I've heard something similar. He said: "...this church stuff is for old people. I'll come back to it when I'm like 60 or 65...." Shocking because of the caliber of person I know him to be. I hate to admit it but I cannot deny the fact that these same thoughts have crossed my mind in the past. Thank goodness I didn't yield. However, even if this friend of mine is currently no longer a member of any local congregation, I'm thankful that he now worships God with his family and some friends from their home.


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PRIDE
Most congregations and leaders are too proud to admit wrong doing much more attempting to correct it; even with the truth staring them in the face. Some have developed a narrative to silence the truth by characterizing anything they disagree with as "false teaching" without any biblical proof to disprove it. All is done to create doubts and fear in the minds of others so these leaders can keep their pride and dignity as if bible study is some kind of competition for who knows more. I thought the best way to silence a false teacher is the scriptures? We sometimes don't want to hear the truth about what the bible has to say unless it is pleasing to our ears, or fits within our preconceived ideas. We think the truth will contradict our human "traditional belief" that was handed down or taught to us by friends and families so we hesitate to learn. Shouldn't we be more concerned about if or not it contradicts the scriptures? Friends and families can lie or unintentionally mislead us but the bible remains the same and true. We cannot continue to hide under the umbrella of "false teaching" or false teachers if we believe the bible to be truth and open to learning the truth. No, we don't need to invite or allow false teachers to spread false teaching and this is where the bible comes in. But using it as an excuse to prevent the truth from being told is even more dangerous. False teaching gives us the opportunity to present the truth otherwise there would be no need for preaching the gospel truth to anyone.

MONEY
When money dictates the truth, we all loose to the rules of the rich. We become the "servants" of the deep pockets instead of servants of God. The scriptural truth is that our good deeds as humans should and must be done with the intention to help others not for the attention or gains. The Lord's Church is not for sale. People of the world often say that "money talks" but I didn't know I would live to see the day that money actually talks and speaks louder in the Lord's Church. Most congregations are now controlled by deep pockets instead of God's truth. We are more willing than ever to trade the truth for money. Money is not evil but the love of money is where evil starts. When we let "money talk" in our local Churches, then we love money and not God. When we are willing to do whatever it takes to subdue the truth because of money, then we love money and not God. Serve God, not money.


PULPIT MINISTRY
A congregation hires a minister and practically glue them onto the stage. This in turn make them less effective in doing the actual duties of ministry. No matter how good of a preacher anyone is, they are bound to become in-effective at some point because people will unconsciously tune off if there is no balance in making sure these preachers are not glued to the pulpit. Click here for "PULPIT MINISTRY GONE WRONG" to read more from a piece I wrote last year. No need to dwell on it here.


DISENGAGED ADULTS
Abraham InetianborChurches claim they want engagement from young adults. The sad news is there are few young adults left in the Church worldwide. Do we really need them because we care about their spiritual growth or are we just looking for a labor force? Sometimes it looks like we prefer to have young adults engaged in "physical" and/or "fun" activities than the spiritual aspect. Nothing is wrong with "physical" or "fun" activities but these young adults can do any physical or fun stuff any day, anytime and anywhere including in the Lord's vineyard. So, why should this be the primary reason we need them to attend Church? When people are spiritually engaged with their local congregations, we don't need to over-sell or dramatically solicit their "physical engagement" because it will often come naturally with their spiritual engagement. When people know better, they mostly do better. The more people know and understand the Christian journey, the better engaged they will become because they will realize that it's part of who they are and not for showmanship.


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