Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lack of a Resolution

First I want to start off by thanking all of you that read yesterday.  I found it quite interesting that the number of readers I had yesterday was almost 4 times that of what I normally have. Trying to come up with a reason why, I have decided it means one of two things.  First, you are looking for someone who is actually being honest about the way they feel or second, you like conflict.  Maybe not necessarily conflict between two people, but conflict as in something that is not resolved.  Most movies, books, and stories all have it.  It is what makes us read them.  It doesn't really have a whole lot to do with what I wanted to post today, but I just thought it was interesting none the less.

Anyway, in continuing with the struggle from yesterday I have began trying to put to words a few things that aid in the conflict not being resolved, but today I more or less want to hear from my readers as to what their thoughts are.  You can post as anonymous if you want; I just want opinions. Here are some questions I would like your opinion on.  I don't necessarily need long answers, because I know their are books on the topics, but I want honest thoughts...not answers you have been taught...not answer restated from what a sermon once said....but real honest answers.

What does a Christ centered church look like?
What is the pastor's job?
What is the role of music in the service?
What level of excellence should we expect from our pastors,
         musicians, and others in leadership roles?
What should we expect of those who attend a church regularly?
Where did these opinions come from?
Are any of these thoughts biblical?

Most of these questions can easily turn legalistic and I'm sure many discussions have been had over them in the past, but again, I would just like to ask that you look inside yourself and honestly answer the questions based on what you believe in your heart, not what you say you believe.  I say that because I know I have said I believed things in the past, but when I dug into my heart I found that my words and actions didn't line up.

Thank you in advance for your responses.  I look forward to hearing from you.


  1. 1. I think it is a church that is actively serving others and growing.
    2. Not sure how to put into words what the 'pastor's job is'. To lead and love others out of the overflow of their own heart which God has filled. An intimate relationship with God is key.
    3. the music portion is to glorify God and worship Him in song ask too many questions lol

  2. 1. A place were grace abounds, not legalism. A place where the main thing (Jesus) is the main thing. A place were tradition dose not rule or the doctrines of man. A place that is willing to take a chance on Jesus. A place that is willing to get in the trenches simply because we were called to love. No other reason.

    2. A pastor like all of us is to love like Christ loved. He is to be obedient to the Holy Spirit. He is to lead by example. He is to realize that he still needs to grow, that he has not "Arrived". I think many people believe that a pastor is someone special but he is really no different than anyone else. I guess I believe that a Pastor job is to grow in Christ and be transparent so others can see that grow. What people do with that is up to them and Jesus.

    3. Music to me is a tool that moves people closer to God. I think for me, music speaks to me over anything else. I really softens my heart so I can hear Jesus better.

    4. I think Excellence is to be strive for but it can't get in the way of heart felt ministry. God is the one who calls people and He gives them what they need. As leaders we all need to try to be our best but not for my glory but for His only. But I have seen were excellence became legalism and killed the Spirit of people and ministry.

    5. We want to expect a lot form people but we don't know the story behind that person. I think if people are growing it is not because of church attendance it because someone has poured into them love and relationship. This is a hard question! Jesus said we would not that we are his if we love one another...Love for each of us right were we are and grace to help people become more like Christ.

    6 & 7. There opinions have come our of a lot of study and a lot of hurt. I believe that these are biblical. I could spend a long time giving verses and trying to explain it all. But I know what Jesus has taught me and I stand on a convection that what the church has become (in general) is not what Jesus really wanted. I am open for teaching and new revelation for Him to show us all a better way. Lord, Help us all!!!

  3. Hey Alan

    I want to comment on some of these questions, but the fact that I cannot go back and erase my answers after God brings me to new understanding is haunting me. I am not really smart enough to speak with much conviction concerning these issues, but I am willing to trust that the Spirit is guiding me fulfill His purpose for the church even when I don't have the answers. When I consider these questions in a practical way, I come to a simple conclusion: The first church gathered because they couldn't help but gather; something was happening in their midst. The first song was written because they couldn't help but sing; just words were not enough. As a pastor, I serve vocationally because nothing else makes sense; God has called me to, and placed me in, an opportunity to share Him with others.

    That is my attempt at adding to the "conflict." Thanks for the opportunity!

  4. Alan, I sure don't have all of the answers, but he I go.

    1.) A christ centered church should look like Christ. It should replicate what He did in His life. reach out to the hurting, provide relief and rest to the weary. I think it would grow people through community. So many churches around are so clickish that they stunt their growth. We as a church should be seeking out those who need our help. A church cannot be Christ centered if the people who attend are not Christ centered. Even the visitors who attend are looking for something, are they looking for more of the "same" or something that can change their lives. they came for a reason. A christ centered church builds community with in its members for growth and connection. "A cord of three strands is not easily broken", community is not easily broken.

    2.) A Pastor is not able to do everything. He needs to to others to help lead. He guides his followers as Christ guided His disciples. To teach others to go forth. We sometimes feel as if He is to be in charge of everything and that only wears him down emotionally. he cannot do everything at all, If he tries he will be less effective in certain areas. He need to teach that following Christ is a 24 hour a day commitment. I've heard some pastors teach that people will only give an hour a week to God, where is the commitment in that teaching? Is that what Jesus taught? "Come follow me for an hour?" If our pastors would teach commitment we would have more commitment.

    3.) Music is the easiest way to get to the emotions. We often use music to help bring the people to a spirit of worship. It is an easy way to express yourself, your relationship with God. I love to watch members of a praise band at church express their love to the God they serve. you can tell when they have connected their worship to Him. it shows in their behavior. Music can also be a determent to the service if the leaders have "look at me syndrome". It is the attitude of the heart. Music can help the sermon illustrate it points by taking the parishoners to a visual through the words of a song. I really feel that not only Christian music can do this but also some secular music as well.

    4.) what do we expect from ourselves? We're human, we can only try and use the gifts that God has given us. He has blessed some with great talents, but that certainly doesn't mean he can't use the others. Sometimes I think excellence is in the eyes of those looking on. How do we see those in leadership roles? If we look at what we are doing and how we do it, should we look at others differently?

    5.) Attend church? I think we ned to try and get everyone connected in some area of ministry. Plug them in. This builds commitment. if you have something to do, you're more likely to be there to do it. We need active participants in our churches, Small group leaders, musicians, childcare, ushers, visitation, outreach, maintainance. There truly is a place for all to get involved. People come to a church to change their lives. That's why they show up at all. if churches don't expect change, the people stop coming at some point. We need to stop selling Jesus cheaply, he didn't promise everything would be just great after you accept HIm. He said we would have hard times, but that He would be there to help us through. We face things daily that cause us grief, car troubles, money shortages, people in general. We should be the same through the week that we are on Sundays at church. We should live Jesus.