Cheryl is licensed/ordained and founder of two outreach ministries. Her passion is to expose false doctrines that lead away from Christ.
1. Preachers focus on Christ from the pulpit
When a minister has been graced with the opportunity to stand in a pulpit and preach the gospel of Christ, he or she should do so. Give the word the Lord has revealed through His Holy Spirit. People need to hear from their Heavenly Father. They do not benefit spiritually when you talk about your spouse, children, grandchildren, college days or sports team on a constant, continual, consistent basis. These things waste precious time that could be utilized to save souls or minister to those who already believe. There is nothing more frustrating than going to church expecting to hear from the Lord and you hear everything else but.
2 Timothy 4:2 King James Version (KJV) Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine
2. Church leaders be an example
Psalm 119:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee
When we keep His word in our hearts we will be less likely to hurt others.
I was blessed to have been a part of a ministry that emphasized the importance of those in key positions, leading the way for the rest of the church members. Elders, ministers, ushers, the praise team, deacons, deaconess, teachers, office staff, etc. had monthly meetings. We were told to begin preparing for Sunday over the weekend by being in a mode of prayer and fasting. We were expected to show up to serve with our hearts right with the Lord and if there had been any family squabbles we were to check them at the door before we entered.
The elder who was the intercessory prayer director advised us to listen to worship music on the way to church and be in tune with the Holy Spirit, He said we should seek God's forgiveness before praying so that our prayers would not be hindered. We were to greet people with a smile and remain spiritual so as not to offend. Encountering church leaders with attitudes is a sure way to run people away. Mature believers will not hurt others, so don’t abuse your position.
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.
3. Members need to stop being territorial
He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything
Church members need to remember that the body of Christ belongs to Him. You do not own His people and neither do you own the building in which you gather. Unless you have been assigned a specific seat or parking space, you have no right to tell anyone else that they cannot sit in the pew or park their vehicle in a designated area. When I visit the church where my husband attended as a child, I like to sit in the pew that has his grandparent's name on the side, because it was purchased in their memory. Should others be seated there we simply move on. No one owns a seat, a Bible, or a window because their family members paid for it. Always consider that it's not about the building and don't hurt anyone's feelings because of material things.
4. Church members stop being mean
I recall visiting a church with my husband and two women greeted him and ignored me. This was a small church and there were only about thirty people in the service. On several occasions, I have visited congregations where they have a meet and greet time and some members refuse to smile or shake hands. My favorite is when preachers say "Turn to your neighbor." and the person beside you sits as stiff as a possum playing dead or turns away so they don't have to greet you.
If you are acting evil and not displaying the love of Christ you could be running members away and discouraging new people from joining. Never let your actions offend others because He is watching. Too many won't go to church because they are wondering where the love is.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. John 13:34
5. Pastors don't be double minded about money
1 Timothy 6:9-10 King James Version (KJV)
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Money is always a sore spot in churches but in today's culture, more people are wise to manipulation. Many preachers teach that if you tithe, give offerings and sow financial seeds, God is obligated to give you a big return. On the flip side, they continue begging from the members and there never is evidence that God is bringing in extra money. People are wary of being told to give, give, give, and promised that which God does not deliver. If there is a need, put it out there and allow church members to give from their hearts.
Begging for extra money in every service is a turn-off, especially for those who are trying to disconnect from the prosperity teaching churches. Those who have come to realize that God does not give you money tit for tat don't want to hear the lies that they will be milionaires by giving to the church. I walke out of a service when a guest minister began her message with "I'm going to be a millionare". I know hundreds who have left churches that teach prosperity as the main dish and salvation as a snack.
When you ask the people to give extra to supply the church needs, you are poving that you need their finances and that God Himself is not making a way. This double speak is no longer fooling discerning believers. Telling people to supply your needs, while pomising that God will povide for them is very telling.
© 2019 Cheryl E Preston
OLUSEGUN from NIGERIA on February 11, 2020:
May God help us not to be stumbling-blocks to others in faith in Jesus name. amen.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on November 12, 2019:
ThNk you Ms Dora
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on November 12, 2019:
Cheryl, thanks for sharing your insights on what's good and not good about church programs and procedures. You give practical counsel which would help the church member enjoy and benefit from their church life. Thanks for addressing these issues.