Strength in Your Ear

The last time I checked the statistics, almost all new believers stayed in a congregation less than 4 years before moving on to something else. 96% or so. Some reasons for that:

The congregation they found themselves in was not culturally relevant to them. Contrasts of age, financial status, music preference, clothing style, dialect of English, etc. made the new people not fit into the congregational relationships that could have held them.

The congregation had leadership that was not pastoral. If the person behind the pulpit was an evangelist or a teacher or a prophet, pastoral ministry was not likely to be happening. There are people in “the pews” who sometimes fill in to do some shepherding, but sometimes they are not welcomed or encouraged to do so by the people who are “credentialed.”

There was pastoral leadership, and, therefore, weak teaching ministry. If “the minister” really is a pastor, but held responsible for also (without the spiritual gift of “teacher”) preaching every Sunday, the teaching will likely be dry and lifeless.

The congregation is full of people who have no heart to serve or develop relationships with new believers. The picture Paul drew in Ephesians 4 of the Church doing things right was that She is built up in love by what every “joint” supplies. A joint is a relationship between two body parts. The church is not made of congregations. it is made of relationships.

New believers found Christian fellowship somewhere other than the congregation they tried to connect with. Either they ended up in other congregations, or outside the traditions of men and in places and gatherings that were made up of believers, but were not “Sunday Services.”

New believers found that they had no purpose, and felt that there was no point in the trouble of attending “services.” When assisted in finding their spiritual identities, based on what Yahweh has called them to, people become connected and responsible. When their identities seem to fit into the “laity” and the important work is done by the “clergy,” people sometimes grow disinterested in watching the show and stop buying the tickets.

Some representatives of Jesus so terribly misrepresent Him that some people simply decide that following Him was a mistake made in an emotionally low condition and leave to find something else to live for.

You need love. You need to hear through your ears that you are important, that you have a God-inSpired identity, and that you are likely to succeed at the profound calling He has on your life. You need to be equipped by the combination of multiple gifts operating around you that can draw who you are out of who you used to be.

If you are not finding that where you “go to church,” pray for connection to the Body. If you have some sense of who you are in Christ, take responsibility for speaking success into the ears of others who also need more courage than they can muster alone.

God sets the solitary in Families (Psalm 68:6). Men drop them in orphanages. Let’s do what our Father is doing.

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