02 October, 2008

Beware The Spirit of Complacency

I believe that one of the greatest obstacles that we face in the church today is the tendency of the church becoming complacent.

What is complacency?

It is where the members of the church or maybe the church as a whole becoming comfortable and satisfied with the status quo. (By the way, when I say church members, I include the ministry in that number.)

I might define this type of complacency like this: The state of being indifferent and uninvolved in the affairs of others… or simply put, living in a state of unconcern.

We live in a time where community is no longer the norm, and we are a group of individuals who happen to live in the same general area, and in the case of the church, rather than being a Body, we are in danger of becoming a group of individuals who happen to choose to worship together, but are otherwise uninvolved in the lives of one another.

There are some very real dangers to being like this and that is what I would like to write about today. When complacency creeps into the church we are on the threshold of death. Harsh words, but I believe them to be true. If complacency only affected the individual than it might not be as harmful, but the truth is where there is complacency, people get hurt… a lot of people. How you say? I am glad you ask. Let’s examine this a bit.

When the church is complacent:

1) People go to hell! When you and I get into a place where we are uninvolved people die lost and go to a devils hell.

Please understand something… the devil doesn’t mind that you go to church every once in awhile, just not every time the doors are opened. In fact he loves for you to be a part-time Christian because this means you are not a real threat to his plans. He loves part time, or secret agent Christians because they are weak and ineffective. They have little or no influence in their circle of friends and family.

When we become complacent, people go to hell.

2) Your church suffers- When you and I are complacent there’s a sense of indifference and lack of concern for your house of worship. This indifference manifests itself in many ways. Giving is because if you don’t care about souls going to hell you certainly aren’t concerned about keeping the ministry alive and operating. I can hear people saying, “But pastor, I care about souls!” Do you? I mean really, DO YOU? Do you care enough to see that the House of God is taken care of? Is the grass cut? Are the floors swept and the bathrooms clean? Are the windows washed? Does the House of God look appealing and welcome? Believe me, it matters. Studies have shown that visitors that are looking for a church to join generally make up their mind as to whether or not they will return to a church within 10 minutes of their arrival to that church, based on the appearance, cleanliness, and the welcome they received by the people. When 80% of the church “faithful” show up in the last 5 minutes before church (or worse… late) then the impression of first time visitor is greatly affected… in the negative. Complacency kills church growth.

Your family suffers- When you are satisfied and uninvolved in the church, that naturally affects your family. Your kids learn how not to care about people, they learn how unimportant church is to their parents. They learn how not to give to church by watching you. Our children need to see us love the Lord. He needs to be the topic of conversation, not only at church, but in our homes and daily life. When we sit down to dinner our kids need to automatically know we need to bow are heads and give thanks to the Lord for His provision.

Your community suffers- Your neighbors and friends suffer when you and I become complacent. When we are idle people get hurt. It’s not enough we go to church every once in awhile, we need to deposit ourselves into the lives of others. Believe me, people are watching you! Not only that, but we should be involving ourselves in the affairs of the people that God has placed in your life. It is such a selfish thing to with hold Christ from the people in our circle of influence.

You suffer- The blessings that God wants to do in you may depend upon your availability and involvement in your ministry. I believe God is just chomping at the bit to pour out a blessing on you and your family but you’ve got to get your attention off yourself and your selfish concerns. Paul’s concern was always for others. You never read about him worrying about himself. Paul is always referencing service to others especially the unsaved, but also within the body of Christ.

It is time for the church to shake itself and awaken. We have slumbered too long, and souls are dying on our watch.

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