What is the nature of your relationship to the local church? Are you a member? Are you a contributor? Are you an attender? Are you a consumer? Unfortunately, many professing believers merely consider whether the church is meeting their needs rather than considering whether they are meeting the needs of others.
The “nones” are a statistical category for the religiously unaffiliated They don’t identify with Catholic, Evangelical or Mainline denominations. In the last thirty years, the “nones” have grown from 8% of the population to 23% of the population. Now some of these individuals have moved away from faith altogether. But many of them have simply embraced a private faith where they have no responsibilities to anyone but themselves.
In our current culture, this radical individualism has risen to new levels. I recently heard from a distant relative who indicated that they are now a “multi-church family.” In other words, they are not a vital contributing member of any one local church. They just go around leeching off multiple churches. Their relationship to the local church is that of a parasite to a host. They take without giving anything in return.
C.H. Spurgeon wrestled with the same destructive phenomenon in London over 150 years ago. He knew that many were interested in listening to his preaching but less interested in serving. His words of exhortation are good for us to hear in our day:
We want sinners to come – sinners of every sort; but do not let us have that sort of men whose ears are everlastingly itching for some new preacher; who are saying, “I want something else, I want something else.” Oh! do, I beseech you, for God’s sake, be of some good; and if you are running about from one place to another you can never expect to be.
Spurgeon knew that true service and real spiritual growth does not take place in a moment but over time in the context of long-term relationships. It is a great time to consider how you are contributing to Christ’s church. Some of you need the encouragement to know that your service is worth it. Others need the challenge to get off the bench and get into the game. I urge you, “Be of some good!”
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