Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Church Attendance

"Those who attend a conventional church are generally content to show up and accept whatever their church has on the agenda; they place the responsibility for their spiritual growth on the shoulders of the church. We found that most conventional church goers have no desire to help improve their congregation’s ministry, nor do they feel a need to increase their personal spiritual responsibility.” January 8, 2006 The Barna Update House Churches Are More Satisfying to Attenders Than Are Conventional Churches www.barna.org.

In another article, The Barna Group says, “American Christians are not as devoted to their faith as they like to believe. They have positive feelings about the importance of faith, but their faith is rarely the focal point of their life or a critical factor in their decision-making.”

Hmm, it’s easy for me to respond with “Boy, that sure is true in the churches I’ve been in.” But then I feel this little sting in my chest. If I see that, what am I doing to change it?

Do we, as a culture of professing Christians, fear God? I don’t think so. When is the last time you stepped into a church or gathering to worship God and experienced a physical alertness to the power of God. I am always amazed with the discussion of “fear God” among Christians. It always seems to come to a comfortable statement of “revere God.” We’ve made God a powerful and gentle human.

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami gives a picture of the church. One website shows people who have been enjoying a day at the beach running for their lives. That is the fear of power.

How often do we go to worship God as we would go to the beach? We go to enjoy or receive something for ourselves – sometimes that “something” is a sense of satisfaction in doing even if we complain about it. I’m guilty of this. Maybe that’s why God has given me a full year to just be in his presence with little involvement in either of the two churches we’ve been attending.

Are you ready to see the power of God? That to me is what it means to fear God. We should always be aware of his overwhelming greatness and power. Yes, he loves us as his children. But he is not human. “God” is not his name. “God” is what he is. Just as I am a woman – a human being created by the infinite almighty being we call God.

Oh that our church gatherings would be filled with fear. Just imagine the worship.


Godzheart said...

That sure is a powerful and interesting thought. Never compared meeting God like going to the beach, but sure sometimes, He is good, that we forget He is God, Almighty and Powerful Creator.

Susan said...

Great thought, Lisa!! You're right, a healthy "fear of the Lord" could change the world....



the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

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