I will admit, I am a little behind in this portion of my blog. I will do the best to catch it up to speed. This year has been a busy year to say the least. God has blessed us so much in a short period of time it is amazing. It has not been huge blessings, rather many short blessings over this period. This portion of the blog will be used to document what God is doing through Faith Family and Fellowship.
Many may disagree with me on particular subjects and reasoning, but there should be no disagreements on the final outcome. Through my studies, prayer, reading scripture I began seeing things that was wrong in the global church. Focusing in my area I saw many members walking out of church on Sunday’s with their head hung low. Why are Christians leaving church down and out? Certainly, one will not argue that there is conviction and the Christian plays a part in that, but the church does also. Why are we, as church leaders, letting them walk out with their heads hung low? Church leaders are just as much at fault as the Christian themselves. When I walk into a church I am focused on what God has for me. It may sound selfish, but I am seeking. Through worship, bible study, and preaching there should be no reason I walk out destroyed. “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25). If all the church leaders are obeying God, then when a Christian walks out dejected, it is their own fault. This is one area God has placed on me to change.
It is easy as a Pastor to tell myself I done all I could do, but let’s be honest. At what point has a church leader done all they could do. I find many leaders do the bare minimum and call it good. Preach a sermon, teach a bible lesson, and pray for them. That is the bare minimum. I want to make it my personal mission to not do the bare minimum and share with others what it means to go above and beyond.
What does above and beyond look like? Let’s assume we have those previous qualities down pat, and build from that. It all begins with early morning service, before anyone arrives. Has the pastor prayed over his sermon and made sure it is what God has wanted, not him or herself. Has the pastor given his bible study teachers, deacons, ushers, etc… the tools needed to be successful. It is imperative that the pastor keeps touch with those on a regular basis to assure that they have those tools and they are doing ok, personally. Christianity is not a Sunday and Wednesday operation. Everyday these people are to be prayed for and have direction in their personal lives.
Next, has these individuals prayed over their materials and lessons and jobs to make sure it is all God and not all of them. As people start filing in what is the persona of your study rooms and sanctuary? Believe it or not as people begin to file in the persona can influence each member and visitor. If taps is playing in the background you should expect a dejected, sorrowful mindset. On the other hand if you have laughing and smiles, then you should expect excited and happy people. Spending time in fellowship before service is a great opportunity to build relationships. Even taking time to have coffee and snacks before builds a positive surrounding.
Music, and I have taken the brunt of both sides of this subject and I assure you there is no wrong way to approach this. The old “red-backed” Hymnal’s have their place. If one church cleaves to them, than that is fine as long as they are serving the purpose, worship to God. The Bible is constant that hymns are to be sung to God, praise and honor showed to Him. With that being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with other forms of Christian music. I find that music can dictate a Christian’s attitude before, during, and after service. The question becomes, does the church want to sing praises to uplifting and praising music? Myself, personally, I want to sing uplifting music to God. Remember Christians, we are not defeated but have victory over sin and death! If we believe we have that victory, we need to sing like it.
Which leads to the focus of the church. It is an area that has been neglected for years. Discipleship. The church has focused on evangelism so hard and long, it seems we have neglected discipleship. Don’t get me wrong, the church still needs to evangelize, but there has to be discipleship before evangelism. So many times I have read or heard that a person makes a public confession and was baptized only to see their road end there. The church needs to invest in its people. Personally, we should mimic the New Testament church as it first exploded on the scene. Jesus did not sit in a church with 250,000 members and teach and preach. Jesus invested in the 11 and those 11 invested in others which in turn started churches and invested in others. It is simple multiplication. If the pastor invests in his deacons and bible teachers and they invest in those they come in contact with then our churches would be overfilled.
This is where I have been led to Faith Family and Fellowship. To strip away unnecessary and binding problems and get back to the basics. I want to know at the end of the day I have invested in discipling at least one and allow that one to disciple two etc… It is not what you wear or how you look but your heart that matters. That is what matters to Jesus and it is your heart that matters to me. It is my prayer that churches see us or reads this and change their ways. Once we cut loose the chains we have placed on God’s hands we can begin to walk out of churches with our heads, heart, and hands lifted high.
As far as Faith Family and Fellowship, I want to document what I see God doing with us as we grow in Christ. We started in a one bedroom apartment, which I call the upper room, and we meet in a living room and our house from time to time. We have between 10-15 people so far and the Spirit is moving. While we are looking for a permanent home for us, it has not been easy but we have had a few areas open up in which we are in prayer. I ask that anyone reading this pray for us as we continue to grow and the needs are met and guidance.