It seems everywhere we look battle lines have been drawn. If we’re not careful, the church, like the country, will fall in division. Pastors and lay teachers are struggling to please their members, and it can feel like what we’re doing, or not doing, isn’t meeting everyone’s standards.
What needs to happen for our churches to survive? The answer to that depends largely on me and you.
If no one has called to check on you, call an elder to see how he is doing. Check on your pastor. If you’re struggling to feel like you’re part of the church, join an online Bible study. Call a person you used to love seeing at church. Send a card to five people from the directory each day. I bet some of them will write, call, or email you back. If you don’t see a class or opportunity you were hoping to see, volunteer to teach or try the online version. You may be surprised at how much you love to teach. You may be surprised at how much you love the online version.
And if you’re debating whether you’re ever going back to church or not, remember our churches are more than sermons and music. They are places to fellowship with our Christian friends and enjoy the communion of common beliefs. Our pastors don’t just preach. They teach our children, minister at our bedsides when sick, counsel us when we’re struggling, and pray for our families.
Satan is preying on the church at large. When we are divided, we are weak. When we waste our energy quarreling, we have less energy to teach and pray and encourage. Your pastor and the people from your church are not the enemies. They are your brothers and sisters in Christ. Love them, and when you are struggling to love them, pray God puts love in your heart for them. Reach out to those who have different beliefs regarding how things should be done. Determine to do what you can during this time to help out through prayer, encouragement, or service.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Keep your mouth free of perversity; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths of your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:23-27).