Duct Taped Church
I found an article that is spot on with how churches today handle problems in the church. the full article can be found here: https://all-things-church.org/2021/03/24/three-duct-tape-approaches-to-church-problems/ Here is a break down of what this article says and other points that are important.
In ministry, there are ways to “duct-tape” problems and just as Paul educated the church of Corinth about spiritual immaturity, we too can follow into the same trap when we duct tape a problem in the church for a temporary solution. As you go forward today in representing the church as one body in Christ, (1 Corinthians 12:27) may you understand these ways the church is duct taped in order to strengthen the way we represent the church as a whole going forward. If the truth be told, too many pastors have lost the vision for effectively reaching a lost world. The church ministry is really about them and not about Jesus directing them, which is sad. There are a number of “duct tape” approaches to taping over the lack of vision and growth. This is one of the biggest downfalls of the church. Too many times we focus solely on numbers as being how we rate the success of the ministry, yet scripture tells us the opposite. Sometimes the church growth struggle can be discounted when we hear the words “The Lord is not interested in numbers. It is faithfulness that we as pastors are called to in ministry.” You will have to argue with all the references to numbers in the book of Acts, and throughout the scriptures because faithfulness and numbers are both important. I rather have 10 faithful members than 50 non faithful members to be honest.
Does this mean that a believer should not have to go to a church building on Sunday with fellow believers for a worship service? The clear answer to this question is how I figure Jesus would answer with a question in itself, why wouldn’t you want to spend time with fellow believers in one setting on Sunday if you were physically capable? The Bible tells us we need to attend church so we can worship God with other believers and be taught His Word for our spiritual growth. The early church “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). We should follow that example of devotion and do the same things. Acts 2:46 tells us that even though followers of God didn’t have a church building to worship in, every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” Church attendance is not just a “good suggestion”; it is God’s will for believers. Hebrews 10:25 says we should “not be giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Even in the early church, some were falling into the bad habit of not meeting with other believers. The author of Hebrews says that’s not the way to go. We need the encouragement that church attendance gives.
Church is the place where believers can love one another (1 John 4:12), encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13), “spur” one another to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24), serve one another (Galatians 5:13), instruct one another (Romans 15:14), honor one another (Romans 12:10), and be kind and compassionate to one another (Ephesians 4:32). For a church body to function properly, all of its “body parts” need to be present and working (1 Corinthians 12:14–20). It’s not enough to just attend a church; we should be involved in some type of ministry to others, using the spiritual gifts God has given us (Ephesians 4:11–13). A believer will never reach full spiritual maturity without having that outlet for his or her gifts, and we all need the assistance and encouragement of other believers (1 Corinthians 12:21–26). For these reasons and more, church attendance, participation, and fellowship should be regular aspects of a believer’s life. Weekly church attendance is in no sense “required” for believers, but someone who belongs to Christ should have a desire to worship God, receive His Word, and fellowship with other believers. Being truthful with scripture is the best way to help the growth of the church. Do not try to do it all yourself as well, seek guidance and strategize what needs to be done and most of all pray.
The next taped over issue in the church is preaching. If you have a pastor that does not speak the context of the gospel, this could cause a misleading of the lost and sometimes believers as well because the church can get too complacent about the real issues that are in the world and ignore what scripture says and it will eventually do more damage than good for the ministry as a whole. The church is composed of two “wings” preaching and fellowship. I have already discussed fellowship and its importance so I will not go into it again but a church cannot fly straight with one wing broken. If you lack either wing of ministry, you are either not a church, or not an effective church ministry so, make sure that what is being preached, is accurate in scripture based on the context of it and not just paraphrasing. I am thankful that in my church that I am a member of locally that we have a fearless pastor that preaches the gospel in context and is truthful always because it makes a difference overall and it helps eliminate a lot of confusion that this world tries to imply to fit their agenda.
Lastly, churches like to tape over criticism. If this criticism is legitimate than embrace it and move forward with a plan on what to fix and how to fix it according to scripture and God’s guidance not by man’s words alone. Learning how to fairly listen to and hear the truth in criticism, and not retaliating or growing angry is what you ought to be as one body in Christ. Rather than invoke Matthew 18, calling up the defensive shield of “they are sowing discord,” engaging in procedures and processes to protectively contain the criticism, or seeking “loyalty oaths”, sometimes getting honest is the best solution. Don’t patch it over. Fix it by applying some genuine and honest humility. If the criticism that is given to you and your church is unjustified, continue on the same path that God has placed your ministry and keep moving forward. No way am I saying that the church should always be perfect and that every church and ministry leaders will never mess up. We are not perfect people but we serve a perfect Savior so we should always strive to be as perfect as we can be with His leadership in our church, lives, ministry.
Always remember what Matthew 7:26 tells us as you go throughout your day. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. If you continue to duct tape the issues in your ministry, eventually it will crumble but if you always rely on Jesus as the foundation of that ministry (church), it will never crumble. May God be your rock in this broken world, Amen.