As we enter the New Year, many believers are committing to serve the Lord at a higher level. However, with the low standards of many churches and Christians, a person should have a practical way to gauge if their walk with God lines up with the will of God.
One way to measure this is by projecting the following questions across your church and estimating if it would survive. (Obviously, if your commitment was according to the will of God as shown in Scripture, the church should not only survive but thrive despite adversity.)
7 Questions to Ask Yourself
1. What if everyone financially gave the same percentage to the church as you do? Imagine you were a local church pastor with a biblical vision of making disciples and winning the lost. With this vision, you had to rent a building or pay a mortgage to the house Sunday services and other events. In light of your local church budget, imagine if everyone gave commensurate to the percentage of your income that you presently give. Would your church survive, thrive or have to close its doors?
2. What if everyone were as committed to church attendance as you are? Suppose your local church has about 100 members and everyone came to church as often as you did. Would the congregation have sufficient fellowship, participation and receive the systematic teaching needed to continue her mission? For example, if you only came to church once per month and the average in-person mimicked your attendance, the number of weekly attendees would only hover around 25. This ensures that a teaching series would only touch one-fourth of the congregation on any given Sunday. Would your church survive, thrive or have to close its doors?
3. What if everyone volunteered to serve in the church as often as you do? Imagine if you have not volunteered to serve in your local church in several years because you said you needed a break, and everyone followed your example. Would your church survive, thrive or have to close its doors?
4. What if everyone read the Bible as much as you do? What if everyone had your level of biblical knowledge? If you lack an intentional approach to consistently going through the Bible and only crack it open a few minutes per week, would your church survive, thrive or close its doors?
5. What if everybody were as committed to prayer as you are? Are you earnestly seeking God the way Scripture implores you to do (Heb. 11:6)? Do you casually say a few prayers once in a while? If every Christian had the same habit of prayer as you do, would your church survive, thrive or have to close its doors eventually?
6. What if everybody tried to share their faith the way you do? When was the last time you won a person to Christ or even attempted to share your faith with another person? If every Christian in your church did as you do, would your church survive, thrive or have to eventually close its doors due to a lack of evangelism?
7. What if everybody were as committed to discipleship as you are? Do you have a person who speaks into your life and disciples you? Do you have at least one person you are discipling? Most Christians answer no to that question despite the fact that they know discipleship is key to being established in the faith. If everyone practiced discipleship the way you do, would your church survive, thrive or have to eventually close its doors for lack of establishing people in the faith?
In conclusion, this article is not meant to condemn you if your commitment to Christ is lacking. It is meant to bring conviction so that your New Year's resolution will have some real teeth and cause substantive change that will last forever!
(I just released my latest book, The Purpose, Power, and Process of Prophetic Ministry. To purchase, click here.)
For the original article, visit josephmattera.org.
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Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
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