Tag Archives: Church

Why younger people don’t need God

Does your young person feel like they don’t need God?  I didn’t say church.  I said, “GOD!”  If you need God, then you know that you need church and you attend every chance you get.  

Recently I have been asked why young people don’t go to church.  Because churches seem to be filled with older people, the question is, “why are there not more younger people in church, and how do we reach this demographic?”

I have contemplated this question for a long time.  Because I have been posed this question, I have begun thinking of it all over again. However, I don’t think that this question should be posed to this one group.  It seems to me that all groups are affected, and there has been a broad moving away from church attendance.

I know that the mind, being quick to solve problems, will run the gamut of possible answers.  We could site: The last days, The influence of the Devil and the world, the media, Exaltation of fantasy, The impact of socialistic programs, removal of the Bible from schools, etc. etc.  All of these certainly contribute to the problem.  But if you take a closer look back through history, most of these influences have been present for a very long time.  The first century Christians lived in a time when similar things like these were present and they even had to deal with persecution unto death as well.  Can you imagine where American Christianity would be today if present day Christians were killed for their faith?  I dare say that the church would shrink to just a remnant.  Very few American Christians today would be willing to actually die for their faith.  Oh, I know that they might SAY they were willing to die for Jesus, but if it came right down to it, I don’t believe that many would actually do so.  Why?  Because the church today has been diluted with weak anemic Christians who are mostly apathetic regarding church because they don’t need God.  They want to be entertained for their “buck;” or even worse, they want to be entertained for free.  Any pastor that cannot meet this criteria can just be discarded because they can just move on to another church that can entertain.  Christians today are looking for a program instead of God.

I think that the root reason that people in the USA today do not need the church is because they don’t need GOD.  They see no need for God in their life.  They cannot see any benefit for them by coming to God.  If they ever get to the place where they finally do see what God can do for them, only then are they willing to approach Him.  Otherwise, they keep Him at arms distance.  I say this because time and time again, when people are in trouble; when things are not going well in their life, they suddenly need God.  Then they come to church.  Then they want the preacher to give them the magic pill that will make all of their problems go away.  If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you know what I am talking about.  Even those whom we would call “faithful saints” act the same way: They do not see any value to them by coming to, or supporting their church.  They don’t need God, so they don’t need church.  But when they need God, Oh, they are so drawn to church.  Think about it.

So, I believe that the better question to be answered is: “How do we show people the value of having God in their life?”  If people saw that it was valuable to them to have God in their life, then they would be in church, because God values church.  Today, people value other things.  It is not difficult to find something to value because the world has a never ending list of entertainment for people to value.  All of it fun and valuable.  Not many of the young culture value hard work, because they see no importance for it and have too many other distractions, each competing for a little piece of their minds.  But when they suddenly need money to live, then they see the value of hard work and sweat.  So the answer to the question should be associated with what people value and how to show the importance of it (easier said than done).

I believe the answer to this undaunting question lies in the area of relationship.  Everybody recognizes the value of a relationship in some form or another.  Once children see that they have to navigate this world on their own, the see the value of the relationship between the parents and themselves; they see how valuable it was for mom and dad to take care of everything for them.  When there is a loss of a loved one, you immediately see the value of that relationship that you once had.  So, if a person could be introduced to the value of a relationship with God (Gen. 2:18), then they would be interested in God, and therefore, church.  But relationships too, have come under attack.

In the world today, there is a big attack upon relationships.  Everybody can DIY (Do It Yourself).  More and more, people are being deceived into thinking that they don’t need anybody.  There are mom’s taking “momcations,” dads working long hours, and all of the overtime they can get, parents cut out of children’s lives and grandchildren growing up without really knowing their grandparents.  Self-serve, Self-check out, Drive thru, ATM’s, mail order, Texting, cell phones, email, Home shopping network and Social Media (i.e. facebook), all contribute to the relationship problem.  They are all attempts by the Devil to eradicate basic and necessary relationships from our life.  Today we:

  • Have, “friends” whom we have never even met face to face.  These are our cyber friends who only tell us what they want us to know about them.  We know this to be true because we only tell them the things we want them to know about ourselves.  We’re not going to paint a bad picture about ourselves.  We steer away from reality.
  • Say things that we do not mean.  People are much more bold from behind a computer or cell phone keyboard.  We punch in, and send before we really think about it.  We say things that we would not normally say to someone’s face.
  • Do things that we would not normally do.  We take photos of ourselves and only send off the good ones.  At times, there are people who send inappropriate photos of themselves (or others) when they would never have done that in person.

All of these things would not be done if we valued the relationship with that person.

The fundamental relationship that exists on earth is that of the family.  Everybody knows that the attack on the family has been going on for a long time.  It is only successful because it has been relentless.  The result is that not many young people of today see any value in their family relationships.  I believe the way we fight back on this is to: “meet fire with fire.”  Because the attack on the family is relentless, our tactic on preserving the family should be equally relentless.  We do not need to take the role of “closet dwellers” yet.  We are still free to voice our opinions.

The way that this untoward situation has “crept” up on us is because “grass roots” Christians have kept their faith in God under the rug.  When the world demeans Christianity, we too should speak up and say something.  When they promote “homosexuality”, we too should promote family.  The open forum does not belong to them.  When Christians do not speak, and act upon their faith openly, they give the platform to the enemy for the destruction of relationships, and show the younger generation the value we place on it.  They are watching and looking for something real.  If “grass roots” Christians, throughout their daily lives, do not speak up and “live” their relationship with Christ, they ultimately show that they don’t value it very much.  If all they do is speak of Christ in their house or at church or amongst other known believers, they show that they don’t need God very much.

Herein is the answer to the question.  Christians must not be ashamed of Jesus outside of the secure walls of any known Christian environment.  In other words–practice what you believe in; when you value it, others will learn how to value it as well. If you don’t need God, then the younger generation will not need God as well.  If you show a life that is walking with a need for God, then they will need God too!  ~Pastor Coale

Indicators of a Healthy, New Testament Church.

God’s Word is exalted

 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.”—2 Tim. 3:16-17

A healthy church is one that has at its very center: the Word of God.  There is no other substitute.  The statute of the church is the exaltation of God’s Word, and nothing else.  There is no “program” or “social function” that is to eclipse this all important decree.  The Bible is the only thing that is “profitable” for the church.  Everything else is secondary.  A Church that does not “major” on the Bible is one that “minors” on God.  Yon cannot have God without His Word, and you cannot have His Word without having God as well—the two are synonyms.

Spiritually Passionate

“…Be filled with the Spirit;” —Eph. 5:18-21

“Be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” —Eph. 6:10

Experiencing God and following Him are indications of the health of the ministry.  Being “Spiritually minded” will transform you into seeing things God’s way, and this is the goal.  The power and closeness of the Holy Spirit allows us to live genuine Christian lives because the Spirit always teaches us to depend on God and not self.  The more we yield to the Spirit the less we yield to self.  This can be measured in the prayer life of the church as well as the members.  Prayer is a reflection of a deep dependence upon God.  Any church that has a weak prayer life is not healthy because they are not spiritually passionate.

Envelopment in Evangelism

“The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” —Luke 19:10

The church that is healthy is driven to reach it’s community, nation, and the entire world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The budget of such a church would most likely reflect a high commitment to outreach, both locally and worldwide. Winning souls for Christ produces committed disciples of the Lord.  A church waning in it’s evangelism program becomes stagnant and self-centered.  True! Not everybody can go out to win souls, but each saint “rubs elbows” with someone.  Everybody can give a tract with a stranger or leave it at a strategic place in the community.  Jesus came to seek and save the lost.  Someone told each of us about Christ.  We are indebted to them and out debt can be repaid by telling others about Jesus.  Not only that, A church that seeks to win souls for Christ is a church that is obedient to the Lord’s command to go into all the world to preach the gospel.  Evangelism is essential for the health of a Christian and this is true for the church as well.  Nothing sparks revival in the church more than people getting saved.

Spirit-felt Worship

“Make a joyful noise…come before his presence with singing…Enter into his gates with thanksgiving…” —Psalm 100

Inspiring worship that glorifies God and connects the hearts, minds, and emotions of people with God must be a trait of our group worship. Healthy churches are characterized by a spirit of joy expressed in worship.  The downhearted are picked up, the weary are revived, the discouraged are encouraged, the batteries are charged.  There is something that happens during a healthy, “Spirit-filled” worship service.  It is easy to identify an unhealthy trait of the church when the worship service is not a “worship” service at all, but a laborious endurance of time.  Heaven is not filled with the “stuffed” shirt, lemon faced Christian, nor should the church be.

Great Commission Emphasized

“Go ye Therefore…” —Matt. 28:19-20

Our churches must have a clear sense of God’s mission and a compelling vision for the future clearly communicated.  It should be with such clarity that it becomes “owned” by the members who should eventually display a commitment to it. It should be so emphasized as to guide all the ministries and decisions of the church. It should be embedded in the church structure and purpose.

Leadership Development

“…commit thou to faithful men…” —2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Pet. 5:1-11; Eph. 4:11-16

Healthy churches should be committed to leadership development of not only women, but most importantly—men. The desire should be to train, godly men who are spiritually mature to lead our congregations. A healthy church desires to see mature leaders positioned in ministry as workers for the harvest. Healthy leaders not only promote the spiritual growth of the members, but also develop others in ministry and in the family unit.  Too many men are sitting at home letting their wives do all of the spiritual leading of their family.  Men need to take the leadership responsibility for the spiritual development of their family as well as the church.

Church Planting

“…in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost partof the earth” —Acts 1:8

Healthy churches are committed to, and involved in, reproducing themselves. They have a vision for planting or facilitating the planting of churches in nearby communities, as well as the world. There would be no church if some other church was not given to this task because churches are only produced by churches.  The cry that churches are slowly dwindling in number is a conviction that churches are not doing what they should be doing—planting other churches.

Rich in Good Works

“Nor trust in undertain riches…do good, that they be rich in good works…Laying up…a good foundation…” —1 Tim. 6:17-19

Healthy churches demonstrate faithful stewardship and investment of all the resources God has entrusted to them. This begins by a church meeting its own needs and overflows to advance God’s work and meet the needs of others. Education of  Stewardship is emphasized, and pastors must address the issue of time, money, skills, and possessions in a biblical, relevant, and practical way. There should be no “empire building” for the church.  Resources should be “first class” but used in the proper manner for the calling that God places on the church.  Involvement in caring for those who are hungry, hopeless, and hurting instills a vivrant aire about the church because it is more blessed to give than to receive, but this ministry should never exceed that of the primary mission of the church: Worship God, win souls to Christ, Disciple saints.

Intentional Disciple making

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” —Matt. 28:19-20

Disciple making builds mature Christians who can promote spiritual growth of all members. Such disciple making ministries help believers move from a new life in Christ to an alignment of all personal priorities with the Lordship of Christ, whatever the cost.  In short, it moves the Saints from being raw Christian recruits to Christian veterans.  A healthy church is committed to disciplining the Saints to Spiritual maturity.

Loving Relationships

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one another.” —John 13:35

Recognizing that all people are made in God’s image and are loved by Him, the church must reach across cultural, social, economic, and racial lines with practical acts of love within the church and the community. Ministries should always address people’s spiritual needs. When churches are characterized by believers who are committed to the reconciliation of relationships among people, it is a sign of good health. Within the local church, loving relationships produce unity, accountability, including loving discipline, and a powerful demonstration of God’s presence within our communities. Beyond the local church, they are manifested in cooperation and interdependent relationships with other Christians locally, nationally, and internationally.

Church invitation ideas

In these times, we need to refocus on our church.  One of the primary reasons we’re here is to share and live the Gospel and invite people to join His kingdom.  The church that Jesus established is the display of God’s glory on earth, and we believe the church should be central to our lives and faith.  So inviting people to our church is part of our core mission.  Here’s some great innovative church invitation ideas to help you invite people to your church.  You don’t need me to organize it…you and your small group, class or friends can just do it.  At every one of these, you can pass out tracts and invite people to church.

  • Grill out for the employees of a company or business.
  • Set up a party trailer and a grill, at any community events.
  • Dress up like a Star Wars character wherever there are people and take pictures with kids and families.  Give them a special invite card with the location they can download the picture.  You will have a blast and invite a bunch of people to church.
  • Tailgate at high school football games.  Give away hot dogs and invite people.
  • Set up a moonwalk at a local park while events are happening.
  • Volunteer at community runs and bike races
  • Hand out coffee or hot chocolate at events downtown
  • Give out hand warmers at winter events like the Christmas parade
  • Provide “full service” at a local gas station – wash windows and leave a car freshener
  • Show free family movies on Friday nights
  • Help local schools with their fall festivals.  Instead of re-creating the wheel, just help a school make their event better.
  • Take professional pictures at local school talent shows
  • Visit a nursing home
  • Take a couple of hours and put out door hangers in your neighborhood or apartment complex.
  • Be intentional about coaching a kids sports team.
  • You and your kids set up a lemonade stand.
  • Have a free garage sale…give away things and invite people to church
  • Do a free car wash
  • Walk around a neighborhood and collect canned food.  Invite people to church while asking for food.
  • Hand out helium balloons at special events
  • Get a truck, ladder and a bunch of light bulbs and walk around and ask people if they need light bulbs changed.
  • Set up a bounce house in front of a store.  Managers are often open to anything that draws attention to their store.
  • Put out road signs on the weekend (did you know most people who attend our church for the first time do so because they saw a road sign?)
  • Put a giant leaf sign in the back of your truck.  Politicians do it – our cause is way more important!
  • Give away Oak Leaf silly bandz anywhere there are kids.
  • Enter a float in one of the parades.  Walk along side it and give away candy and invites.
  • Take doughnuts to school teachers.  Simply email the principal and ask if you can do it, set a day, and make it happen.
  • Get a giant backpack sprayer and offer to spray for bugs in people’s homes.  It might seem strange, but what a great way to talk to someone and invite them to church.
  • Salt driveways when it ices during the winter.
  • Help with field days at a local elementary school.  What school wouldn’t appreciate volunteers?
  • Take food to fire stations.  Let them know you appreciate them and that they are always welcome at your church.
  • Valet cars when a school has an open house.
  • Provide childcare for high school graduations.
  • Cook team meals before home games at local sporting events
  • Pass out candy and invites at your own house on Halloween, or downtown where hundreds of children come to trick or treat every year.
  • Better yet…come up with your own idea, get your friends or group involved, and make it happen.  Let us know how we can help.

Laodicea Church

THE LAODICEA CHURCH WE LIVE WITH

Revelation 3:14-20 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Today we find ourselves living in the Laodicean Church age.  It is the last period of time before the Lord Jesus Christ comes to rapture out His church.  Compared to the other periods of church history, the Laodicean is the worst of all and that is because of the apathy of believers in Christ.  The word “Laodicean” means the “rights or justices of the people.” Literally the civil rights of the people.  It is a time when the church is more interested in their individual rights and have totally forgotten the rights of God—their Creator.  Unfortunately, this is the mess that the church is in when God returns to get us.  AND, do not fret my friends; there will be no exercising of personal rights at the rapture for God’s rights will overshadow all.  When He says, “come up hither,” will it not be with anger in His voice rather than that of the compassionate Jesus Christ Superstar that many envision Him to be?  Will He not be angry at the church for lack of interest in winning the lost to Him?

The last church claims a belief in God while at the same time living a dead, skin-deep Christianity.  People in this church, profess belief in the “fundamentals of the faith” while embracing ecumenical works.  It is a church where you cannot really tell what it stands for or what it stands against.  It is a church which conveniently balances itself on both sides of the fence; it is neither hot for God or cold against Him (vs. 15).  It is the worst kind of church there can be: LUKEWARM (vs. 16)close enough to God to be warmed by the Bible, and far enough away to be chilled by the world.  It is the epitome of rotten apostate modernism.

God is an extremist. He does not believe in getting along with the world in a kind of “fake Christianity”.  He “would thou wert cold or hot.”

The Laodicean church makes God sick (vs. 16)—sick enough for Him to “spue thee out of my mouth.”  Why is this?  Could it be because of the tremendous material assets this church has that others in history did not?  Could it be because it is more interested in bragging about its busses, holdings, how much the property is worth, how much the offerings are or how many missionaries it supports?  After all, this church says it is “…increased with goods, and have need of nothing.” But God sees the truth.  He gets to the heart of the matter.  His response to all of our vast access to resources that we are “… wretched, you’re miserable, you’re poor, you’re blind, and you’re naked.” This is the opposite of how we see our self.  People today have too many churches to go to.  The pastor does something that they don’t like, or another church member does something that they disagree with, they just “hop on over” to another church that more fits their need.  People in this age are more interested in themselves instead of God, and God’s preacher better tell them what they want to hear or else.

The great problem with the church today is that Christians are afraid to stand up for Jesus.  Oh, we sing the song, “Stand up, Stand up for Jesus…”, but that is just lip service.  Christians have worked out a way to be a Christian on Sundays and just a regular guy the rest of the time.  That way they can AVOID CONFRONTATION.  This is a joke of a Christian who claims that he has to put on the “armour of God”, when he knows in his heart that he is not really going to use it.

This Laodicean church lives by feelings, just like the rest of the world.  Like the Israelites of old, temples to Baal have been erected amongst our ranks and the only thing that can “shake the church” loose from them is some tragedy; else God will never get our attention.  If there was one thing that I could make the church see, it would be the reality and magnificence of GOD.  Hence, people would see how much they owe to Him.  But God does not demand our deaths; He demands our death to self, so that we might be able to live the true life that He intended.  It is sad that it takes hard times in our life to bring us to our senses.

God counsels that we buy of Him “…gold tried in the fire…” (vs. 18).  That is to say, He counsels that we see things as they truly are; that faith in Him is worth much more than gold or riches or prestige or honor (1 Pet. 1:7).  This entire world is going to be burned up and all that is contained therein.  There is absolutely nothing that will survive His hot wrath.  Any investment in this world is futile.  I know that right about here the concept of “stewardship” is usually slipped in, but there is a vast difference in caring for things that perish verses things that do not.  The only thing that will not perish will be the souls of men who are right with God.  This is “stewardship” in its most correct form: to win souls, develop them and teach them how to win more souls.  But this cannot be done without “CARING”.

You say, “I don’t see it that way.”  I know.  I know there is a problem with how you look at things.  That is why God urges to “anoint thine eyes with eyesalve…” (vs. 18).  This is why the Devil has so many things to look at in the world today.  This is why things like TV, pornography, movies, sports, internet, etc. work so good for him.  Man is curious, and his curiosity will never be satisfied.  This is a good thing if it is channeled to learning about the personality and character of God.  But this is not so.  Man is more interested in tickling his sin nature.  The “forbidden fruit” only becomes the draw to man when he looks at it (Gen. 3:5-6).  We have a problem with our eyes.  Therefore, we need the eyesalve of God’s Word that we can see correctly.  Can you imagine the fruit of the tree looking rotten, moldy, corrupt and covered in maggots?  In other words, can you imagine being able to see sin for what it is?  The only way that can be done is to:

  • Stay in your Bible.  You need the Bible.  It is your strength and your sword.  Without it, you will only see what the world is showing you.  Or, you will only know what the world tells you about the Bible.  The cults (Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists, etc.) are experts at offering a candy coated glob of slop.
  • Stay in Church.  Don’t just “attend” church, come expecting something from God.  Expect that God is speaking to you from the Bible via His messenger.  Presuppose that God is real and He can do anything even in spite of the preacher or teacher.  Expect God to be a blessing to you and discard the thought that you will be a blessing to God.
  • Pray faithfully.  Tell God how special He is to you.  Talk to Him.  Tell Him how much of a blessing He is to you.  Tell Him what you think of His Book, His church and His preacher.  Tell Him what you would request of Him, but resist the urge to give Him your grocery list of problems to solve for you.
  • Witness!  This cannot be stressed strong enough.  You must witness for God.  There are many ways in which you can do this.  Use your mind and think of a way you CAN do it instead of inventing ways you cannot do it.  The fact of the matter is this: if you love something strong enough, you can do things you never thought you would be able to do.  Or, if you want to do something bad enough, you will figure out a way to do so.

It is time now to repent of being a lukewarm Christian.  Can you truly say you are giving your all to Him?  Are you tithing?  Are you attending church?  Are your words just more empty promises to God?  God’s way for dealing with those whom He loves in this Laodicean church age is to rebuke and chasten.  REPENT!  Change your ways.  Be zealous about Him (vs. 19).  Be given over to the draw of the Holy Spirit.  Be zealous for Him and the things that He loves and forget about the world.  Stop comparing yourself to others who are not living for the Lord.

Do you realize that at the end of the Laodicean church age Jesus is outside the door of the church?  The door has been slammed shut in His face.  He is knocking to come in and who is listening?  Are you?  Do you hear His humble rap upon the door?  Why is He on the outside in the first place?  Who came to church and left the Lord outside?  I do not want to be a Laodicean even though I happen to live in this age.  You don’t have to leave Him outside.  You can bring Him in with you.  Or, you can answer the door.  The problem why many do not is that they don’t even hear His voice anymore (vs. 20).  They are too worried about money, satisfaction of self, offending others or becoming accountable to God’s word (they don’t want to hear what He has to say about their sin).  But if YOU open the door to Him, He will come in to you and have fellowship with you, even in spite of anyone else.  But until you do, until you open the door of your heart, you can not have sweet fellowship with Him.  You will be a Laodicean.

Gallery

Why People Go To Church

Why do people go to church?  There are many reasons and in this article I would like to explore a few.  For some people church has always been a part of their life; for others it is a new experience.  … Continue reading