The four problems that have been described and discussed in the previous sections are what I consider to be the most prevalent in the church today. Most likely there is no local church existing today that is not affected in some way by one or more of these. And I’m sure that there are other issues that I’m not aware of or have not witnessed first-hand. There’s one thing for sure; they are damaging to any local church body and will eventually result in either an impotent or dead church.
In the past few years there has been the emergence of what is referred to as mega-churches. I’m not sure what the criteria is that places a church in that category but I’m willing to bet it is measured by the number of members. Obviously the larger the membership the greater the attendance. But at the same time the larger the membership the less likely it is for each member to know each other and the more likely the cliques are to form. In addition more programs are required to keep everyone happy and satisfied. In most cases there are more than one Sunday morning service and most likely each one is of a different type such as traditional or contemporary. The music preference usually dictates this and it seems that the preference is also age dependent. In other words, the older generation prefers traditional and the younger prefers the contemporary.
On the other hand, the small churches have their share of problems. Most of them have trouble keeping a pastor for any length of time. There are a number of reasons for this such as inability to properly compensate the pastor, personal agendas of some of the members or maybe the pastor using the church as a stepping stone to a larger one. The smaller churches also have a tendency to not want to change at all even when it is for the better. They are stuck in their tradition.
So what is the answer? It starts with two people. The pastor and the member. The pastor must be one who stays true to God’s word when he preaches and is not distracted by those who would attempt to reinterpret the scriptures because they have read some book or heard some intellectual academia expound some new philosophy. And that’s all it is. In addition, every member should also stay true to God’s word by staying in the word and spending time in prayer and fellowshipping with those of like mind. That way, complacency can’t take over their lives and their walk with the Lord.
Although everything written over the last few weeks seem to be nothing but negative, I still believe there is hope for the local church. We just need to get back to the basics and pray for revival. I believe God will hear our prayer if we are sincere in our desire to return to Him. I need this as much as anyone.