“What’s Wrong Here?”

I am blessed to be a member of a congregation that has a pastor who is a terrific preacher and teacher. He does all he can to wield the two edged sword that is the Word of God. He takes his job very seriously and prepares for his sermons and pasSt Wulfram's Grantham N windowtor’s classes as if someone’s life depended on it.   Someone’s does.

I went to his ‘Life with God’ class last evening. The theme of the class is ‘The Last Days’, a study of the Book of Revelation. Interesting stuff, no?

No.

Apparently not to our congregation. Last week we had 3 people and last night we had 2. This is in a congregation of over a hundred families.

It boggles my mind as to how people can ignore such a great gift as to study the scriptures with a pastor with over 30 years experience in teaching the bible.   

Well, in one sense it is understandable. There are a lot of things going on in our lives. We’ve got dinner to prepare… we’re tired from a day at the office or wherever…we’ve got certain television programs that can’t be missed… it’s a long drive… I was just there on Sunday… it’s stuff I already know…etc., etc., etc..

I usually love it when a new person stumbles in off the street into one of these bible studies. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. I was almost glad that no one did last night. It is a sad commentary on the state of our congregation that only two could tear themselves away from all of the other important activities in their lives to spend an hour and a half (or less) with their pastor and the Word of God.  I could just imagine what a newcomer might think if he or she were to arrive at a miserable showing like that… “What’s wrong here?”.

Plenty.

    – Steve Martin 

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6 Responses

  1. That is a “sad” thing. If this opportunity to be under sound teaching is just one more thing to juggle among competing priorities, imagine all the mischief that can result.

    If, for example, it’s a higher priority to stay home for some tv entertainment, how long will it be before the Sunday service seems a bit too “boring.” Can’t we jazz it up? God saving sinners isn’t exciting enough!

    Based on all the years I walked away from the church as part of that “Amusing Ourselves to Death” approach, I speak from sad experience as the worst sinner regarding this topic.

    Granted, you note there could be other reasons people aren’t there. I found it a bit jarring, however, when you mentioned the congregation is that big (and I’m guessing your confessional church isn’t the type to load up on a bunch of “programs” in the first place, so it’s not like people are tied up with all sorts of “program-driven” activity). Total speculation on my part, but it’s got to be a little discouraging at times for a pastor, regardless of whether he ever shows it.

    Sometimes when people neglect good teaching a generation later they’re open to something worse. One of the problems with being simultaneously justified and sinners is that we don’t learn from history too well, even if there is ample proof that churches with once-sound teaching are now something else.

    An even scarier thought: Some people won’t go to a good study on the Book of Revelation because they’re too busy reading a “Left Behind” book. Let’s hope not in a confessional church!

  2. Then again, maybe I’m reading way too much into this. Still, it sounds like a great class!

  3. Dennis,

    No. You had some interesting thoughts that made quite a lot of sense.

    God saving sinners sometimes isn’t that exciting when lined up against all the good stuff that we’ve got going on down here.

    A lean and persecuted church isn’t usually so apathetic about the forgiveness of their sins.

    You were right. We are a confessional church with not many programs. As far as to what everyon’e’s reading at home…it probably runs the gamut!

    It is a great class. I wish you were close by to enjoy with us (the three of us).

    Thanks Dennis!

    – Steve

  4. Perhaps you can share the Book of Revelation study with us on this site.

    Many would probably appreciate such a study. Some people may be intimidated by the Book of Revelation.

  5. Magdalene,

    We would love to do that. We are working on the technical side of doing that.

    I can’t make any promises on this current Bible study (Revelation), but if not this one, possibly others in the not-too distant future.

    Thanks for an excellent suggestion, Magdalene!

    – Steve

  6. Steve,

    Wonderful! I look forward to any Bible Study that you present.

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