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Aside from Sunday morning services.....


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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It seems to be common problem where I am that Sunday morning is the biggest service by numbers, but no matter what your actual numbers are, Sunday evening is about half or less than Sunday morning, and Prayer meeting (Wednesday night for us) is about half again - so only about 25% of the morning service.

Thoughts people?

How can we (biblically of course) find a way to help people see the importance of the other services?

I struggle to understand it personally, because pretty much from the day I got saved I was in every service I could be. It just seemed to be what I should do, but that is apparently not "normal".......

(How surprising is that? I am not normal!!!!! 😂 )

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The stats that you mentioned seem to be the same across the country in our churches. It seems we have become so entangled with the affairs of this world that church has become just a tradition for many Christians. 

Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

I wish I had an answer for you, if I did it would not be a problem in our church.

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34 minutes ago, Matt Souza said:

 

I wish I had an answer for you, if I did it would not be a problem in our church.

😥

I know what you mean - If I had the answer I wouldn't be asking.

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Ahhh, but generally speaking this issue is not about attendance and the recognition of its importance.  Rather, this issue is about commitment to the priority of the Lord in an individual's life.  Generally you will find that those who are Sunday morning only attenders also have the Lord and His Word at a lower level of priority in their daily lives, and have the world and its "things" at a higher level of priority.  In such cases, the attendance issue will not change until the priority of heart changes.  This is the FOUNDATIONAL issue - the priority of their hearts.

(Note: Sometimes the numbers difference is contributed by a ministry program difference, such as a bus ministry on Sunday morning, but not for the other services.  Also, sometimes the Wednesday night lack is contributed by a work schedule difference, such as 2nd shift workers that are not affected on the weekends.)

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In our small church where I take the attendance last week would be typical.  Sunday school Adults/Teens only for this count = 52  Sunday 11am service = 78  Sunday evening 6 pm = 69  Wednesday service 65.  Our bus ministry overloaded our church building capacity and we have to take the children off site and across town to another facility.  There are approximately 45 in those services. Our "core members" rarely miss any service and we seem to have about 60 - 70 core members.

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5 hours ago, 2bLikeJesus said:

In our small church where I take the attendance last week would be typical.  Sunday school Adults/Teens only for this count = 52  Sunday 11am service = 78  Sunday evening 6 pm = 69  Wednesday service 65.  Our bus ministry overloaded our church building capacity and we have to take the children off site and across town to another facility.  There are approximately 45 in those services. Our "core members" rarely miss any service and we seem to have about 60 - 70 core members.

That's great to hear - when I was first saved it was like that at my church - most people came to most services.

 

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I personally never understood the Sunday morning only Christian (not talking about our elderly and those who really can't make it out at night for legitimate reasons). In the world we live in, I need to be in church as much as possible. I need to hear the preaching of God's Word constantly in my life. I need the fellowship.

We get so entangled with the affairs of this world, that God and His church seems to be something we fit into our schedule rather than work everything around God and His church.

 

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1 hour ago, Matt Souza said:

I personally never understood the Sunday morning only Christian (not talking about our elderly and those who really can't make it out at night for legitimate reasons). In the world we live in, I need to be in church as much as possible. I need to hear the preaching of God's Word constantly in my life. I need the fellowship.

We get so entangled with the affairs of this world, that God and His church seems to be something we fit into our schedule rather than work everything around God and His church.

 

Indeed, Matt, you reveal the answer in your response:

1.  You feel that you NEED God and His Word, because the Lord and His Word are a priority in your living.  Thus you also feel that you NEED a Biblically faithful church, its Biblically faithful edification, and its Biblically centered fellowship.

2.  Others, however, hold the world and the things of the world as a priority.  Thus they allow the world to entangle them and choke out their relationship with the Lord and His Word.  They are thorny ground believers.  As long as they remain entangled with the priority of this world, they cannot and will not bring forth spiritual fruit unto perfection.  As long as they love this world and the things of this world, a true love of priority for the Lord is not in them.  As long as they walk in such a loving friendship with this world through the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, they ARE walking at enmity with the Lord their God.  There is NO middle ground with this matter.

Remember, it is spiritually impossible to serve two opposing masters.  Spiritually it is impossible to serve both the priority of our Lord and the priority of the world in our lives at the same time.  We love the one (whichever one it is), and HATE the other.  We hold to the one (whichever one it is), and DESPISE the other.  No light matter spiritually according to the word usage of our Lord.  

(Sorry if I came on a little strong there.  Having completed a book entitled, "In the World, Not of the World: The Believer's Relationship to the World," this subject is much on my mind at the moment.)

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  • Independent Fundamental Baptist

It’s not always a low priority or affairs of the world either. When I first attended my church, I was a lot healthier and mobile than I am now. I did as much as I could. And attended every service. I don’t need to list everything I have done with my church.

I’m now married and he’s not in good health either. Especially this year, winter has been brutal in northern IL. The cold is very painful for both of us.

Our Wednesday service is not until 7pm. Which for us is late. We go to bed between 8-9pm. Services are recorded and we can watch the next day.

A lot of our members are elderly and can’t drive at night also.

We need to quit judging so much and assume people don’t love God or isn’t a priority. We don’t know the dynamics of every family.

 

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On 3/1/2019 at 10:44 AM, Miss Daisy said:

We need to quit judging so much and assume people don’t love God or isn’t a priority. We don’t know the dynamics of every family.

Miss Daisy, not judging, seeking answers.

Brother Matt actually mentioned your points of the elderly or unwell, and although I did not mention it in my post I am fully aware of these matters.

But it doesn't address those who choose not to attend.

These are the ones I was speaking of. 

Those whose vision does not do well at night, those whose health drops with the cold night air.... these are legitimate reasons.

But there are many who choose not to attend for the sake of their own convenience. And of course, as some mentioned, it is because they love the Lord less than whatever keeps them away, but that doesn't address the question.

How does one help those who CHOOSE not to attend the other services to love the Lord enough to change that?

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12 hours ago, DaveW said:

But there are many who choose not to attend for the sake of their own convenience. And of course, as some mentioned, it is because they love the Lord less than whatever keeps them away, but that doesn't address the question.

How does one help those who CHOOSE not to attend the other services to love the Lord enough to change that?

My own personal opinion on how to change that scenario is through prayerfully and scripturally addressing this situation during the times when they are actually there. If God's Word doesn't change them nothing will.

In my experience trying to address it one on one with them in a personal setting usually doesn't work. They will  most likely be offended and think of it as a rebuke against them.

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These numbers were exactly right in the two churches that I pastored. I spoke with individuals who only came on Sunday (morning and night). Interesting responses.

One person said that they didn't come on Wednesday because there was no Biblical mandate to go to church midweek. They understood the importance of the Lord's day Biblically.

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I'm going to be the odd man out here. I mean no offense to anyone, and I already fully accept that I am going to be vigorously disagreed with. That's ok.

I've been the member of many a good church, where the preacher was a good man, and what he preached was Biblical truth. And I did not want to go back on Sunday night, nor on Wednesday night. I did, out of duty. But it was just another religious duty to perform. I recieved no sustinance from the pulpit for me effort. Ive been in church for 52 years, saved for 47 and in the ministry for 25. I know when my preacher is just "doing his job".

The fault usually lies with the preaching. Not carnal hearts, not changes in culture and society, not busy lives. But dry, boring, repetitive preaching that is not bathed in prayer, not steeped in tears, not illustrated with real life applications, not delivered with passion and not anticipated with excitement.

How do we always find a way to blame the failings and weaknesses of our congregations on something or someone else? Everything rises and falls on leadership. It is ours, and we will stand before God and be judged by Him for the condition of the flock that He has in trusted to us. Is this not what scripture says? He will not judge the sheep for the condition of the flock. He will judge the shepherd.

I read Ezekiel 34:1-10 on a regular basis, and it terrifies me as a shepherd everytime I read it.

Sorry, my friends. But that's how I view the situation. A bored, dutiful pastor produces a bored, dutiful congregation.

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Sorry, but each individual's sinful choices are THEIR OWN sin, not someone else's.

When the children of Israel in the Old Testament rejected the preaching and teaching of the Lord God's prophets, the Lord our God did NOT blame the prophets.  Rather, He blamed the stubborn, rebellious, worldly hearts of the people.

When the apostle Paul warned under inspiration of the Holy Spirit that "the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine," he did not blame the preachers of the Word.  Rather, He blamed the people who had become dull of hearing, seeking "after their own lusts."

So, do we have any Biblical examples wherein the Lord our God blamed the preacher/teacher of His Word?  If so, then what principles can we learn from those cases?  If not, then . . .

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
a bit of addition
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We're talking apples and oranges here.

First, people are NOT commanded in scripture to come hear a man 4 times a week. Nowhere in scripture.

Second, if they choose to come hear you every week at least once, they have NOT rejected the teaching of God. Otherwise they wouldn't even be there every Sunday morning.

There is, therefore, no sin. We are not talking about sin. We are talking about preachers who cannot engage their people enough for them to WANT to come listen to them more than is required. And then those preachers bemoan the carnality of those who just  wont do it.

How do you put on your people more than God does, then call them sinful for not following those "teaching for doctrine the commandment of men"?

Sunday school is an 18th century invention of the Church of England. Wednesday service started in the US a couple of centuries ago. These things are fine, but they are volunteer. Not Biblical mandates. 

The early church met on the first day of the week. If you want more, earn it. But stop blaming your church members.

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Hebrews 10:24-25 -- "And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching."

Being "dull of hearing" is sin.
Not enduring sound doctrine is sin.
Not receiving the Word "with all readiness of mind" is sin.
Being a hearer only of the Word, and not a doer also is sin.
Seeking preaching/teaching after one's own lusts is sin.

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28 minutes ago, weary warrior said:

You are using these verses dishonestly. (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

I've said my piece. I am content.

Indeed, accuse me of sin, then depart the conversation . . .  It is interesting to me that your postings on the subject were founded upon experience, rather than upon God's Word of truth.

In John 6:66 God's Word reports, "From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him."  I wonder who was to blame for this?  Was it the fault of the Preacher/Teacher for not being "engaging" enough?  GOD FORBID!  Our Lord Jesus Christ was/is the perfect Preacher/Teacher.  That which He preached/taught was perfect truth in the most perfect manner.  Thus the fault was the sinful, selfish hearts of those who "went back" from His preaching/teaching.  Yet if He could not retain "many" with His absolutely perfect preaching/teaching, how are we faulty preachers/teachers supposed to retain people with our imperfect preaching/teaching?

Well, I have presented an actual BIBLICAL case wherein the fault was that of the PEOPLE (and I could present a number more).  Could you present an actual BIBLICAL case wherein Scripture lays the fault upon the preacher/teacher of God's truth (not talking about those who preached/taught falsehood)? 

________________________________________________

By the way, your postings appear to contradict one another.  Consider . . .

1 hour ago, weary warrior said:

I've been the member of many a good church, where the preacher was a good man, and what he preached was Biblical truth. And I did not want to go back on Sunday night, nor on Wednesday night. I did, out of duty. But it was just another religious duty to perform. I recieved no sustinance from the pulpit for me effort. Ive been in church for 52 years, saved for 47 and in the ministry for 25. I know when my preacher is just "doing his job". (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

48 minutes ago, weary warrior said:

How do you put on your people more than God does, then call them sinful for not following those "teaching for doctrine the commandment of men"? (emphasis added by Pastor Scott Markle)

Are we talking about those who actually are preaching "Biblical truth," or are we talking about those who are falsely "teaching for doctrine the commandment of men"?  These two cases are most certainly and significantly different.  One is preaching/teaching truth; the other is preaching/teaching falsehood.  The truth of God's Word feeds because it is spiritually alive.  The falsehood of men destroys because it is spiritually corrupt.

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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There is no contradiction. In one, the man preached the truth. But he was bored. He was dry. He was not interested, nor interesting. So we who were trying to be dutiful kept going back, but it's like eating the cooking of a wife who can't cook. I'll do it, because she's my wife. But I couldn't blame you for skipping when you get an excuse.

In the other example, a man teaches that it is doctrine that you are to be in the service "everytime the doors are open". But this isn't doctrine, it's the commandments of men.

Yes, you "use scripture" and I'm "using experience". The problem is, as I have tried to explain, the question posed by the OP is not a question of sin. So you keep using scripture that doesn't apply to address an issue that is not addressed in scripture as you are currently trying to frame it. 

You have good people who come to your service on Sunday morning, yes? They believe your preaching, yes? They are not reprobate or "fallen away", yes? They have not "forsaken the assembling...", yes? 

But they don't always come back Sunday night. Or Wednesday night. No matter how much you twist scripture, they are not commanded to do so. So they are not sinning by not coming to a particular service in the course of a week. But you are offended because they are not interested in what you wish to say on Wednesday night. I'm saying, since commandment isn't an issue, and rebellion against truth isn't an issue, maybe delivery is. In some houses, it's better to skip a meal than eat another bowl of microwaved oatmeal. I'll eat enough to stay alive, but I won't keep coming back for extras because it's good.

I'm just saying, if pastors would cook that same oatmeal with care and serve it fresh and hot with bananas it, maybe folks will come back for more. There are good, solid, biblical IFB preacher that people love to listen too, and have their lives changed. And there are other IFB preacher teaching the exact same truth from the exact same Bible, and no one wants to listen to him. And we're really going to blame all of this on the listener?

We live in a society today where everything is someone else's fault. But I don't care how "true" my "truth" is, if I don't have the spirit and power of God on my preaching, derived from time spent on my face before HIM, then it's MY fault that the preaching is lifeless and powerless and does not feed the soul of those who hear. 

And if you need me to list out scriptures where the preaching of a man is powerless without the working of the Spirit of God, you need to find another line of work.

Yes, there are those who leave because they reject the truth. But we never were talking about those, we're we?

 

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I never had a problem with going to any service that was open.

I certainly wouldn't have been blaming my pastor if I didn't want to be in church.

I know I am not the best preacher around, but I try.

I don't "blame" people for not coming - the WHOLE PREMISE of the question was to find ideas to change what is the current status quo.

I will try harder.

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8 hours ago, weary warrior said:

I read Ezekiel 34:1-10 on a regular basis, and it terrifies me as a shepherd everytime I read it.

Please permit me to digress from the subject matter at hand and just comment on weary warriors reference to Ezekiel 34:1-10.

I am of the same persuasion on Weary Warriors comment on Ezekiel 34:1-10.

God's denunciation of the shepherds of Israel as written in Ezekiel 34:1-10 is terrifying. If the shepherd of the flock is in the ministry for the the wrong reason, as 2 Peter 2 relates and other passages, and does not feed the flock from the word of God, does not warn of the judgment to come, and is not compassionate, or passionate, concerning the things of God. And, is a false teacher, a hypocrite, and does not have a passion for souls: than that man is going to give an account to God one day. The pastor, the evangelist, the missionary, the Bible teacher, is supposed to feed the flock and not have the attitude of the contemporary crowd, the liberal crowd, the multitude of false teachers in the ministry in our age, and the preacher of hate and slander, etc... One day, as Ezekiel 34:16-17 states, God will will judge between the true shepherd and the false shepherd.

Also, to digress a moment to reference  Ezekiel 34:1-10 in the context of my current study of Ezekiel 34:23-31. The Lord Jesus, the True Shepherd, will one day raise up David, as a shepherd, to the nation of Israel, to guide the nation of Israel in the way of righteousness.

Yes, Weary Warrior is correct in this comments of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

Please forgive my digression as I too am terrified that I will not meet up to my responsibilities as a shepherd of the flock, as a missionary, every time I read Ezekiel 34:1-10

Edited by Alan
grammar
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Well now, IF I am compelled to take up personal experience as my guide in this matter, then all that I have said thus far is emphatically verified by my own experience in the ministry.  Through my own experience I could provide a long list of cases, including names and details, that would support my point.  In my own experience the very same preaching/teaching of God's Word feeds some as the savor of life unto spiritual growth, while it also is found to be dull unto others as the savor of death unto spiritual withering.  In my own experience our Lord's warning is quite appropriate, "Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have." (See Luke 8:18)  In my own experience those who attend only for one Sunday service generally do so out of some religious duty, and then live for the priority of self and the world throughout the remainder of the week.  In my own experience the problem truly is a matter of sin in priorities, not only concerning church attendance, but also concerning the entire focus and direction of their lives.  In my own experience the Word of truth has been choked out in their hearts by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life.  In my own experience the only real solution is for such individuals to come unto a broken and contrite heart of repentance over the sin of wrong priorities.  But remember, that is only my own experience.  Apparently it is not everyone's experience.

(1st Note: Throughout this discussion I have maintained the premise with firm conviction that the problem is the sin of selfish and worldly priorities.  Nothing thus far has moved me from that conviction.)

(2nd Note: Any preacher/teacher who "does ministry" out of religious duty alone, and who maintains selfish and worldly priorities is also in sin.  And such a preacher/teacher also needs to come unto a broken and contrite heart of repentance over his sin.)

____________________________________________________________

So then, what is the Biblically faithful preacher/teacher to do in such cases?  I would present the following:

1.  "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." (Acts 20:28)

2.  "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.  Take heed unto thyself and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee." (1 Timothy 4:15-16)

3.  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

4.  "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine." (2 Timothy 4:2)  And one of the reason that you need to be so firmly consistent is because "the time will come [not might, but WILL] when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they SHALL turn away their ears from the truth, and SHALL be turned unto fables." (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

5.  "And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will." (2 Timothy 2:24-26)

(Note: I am sorry.  I pushed a wrong button on my keyboard, and the posting posted before I was finished.  Such is the reason for the lengthy "addition-edit.")

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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6 hours ago, Alan said:

Please permit me to digress from the subject matter at hand and just comment on weary warriors reference to Ezekiel 34:1-10.

I am of the same persuasion on Weary Warriors comment on Ezekiel 34:1-10.

God's denunciation of the shepherds of Israel as written in Ezekiel 34:1-10 is terrifying. If the shepherd of the flock is in the ministry for the the wrong reason, as 2 Peter 2 relates and other passages, and does not feed the flock from the word of God, does not warn of the judgment to come, and is not compassionate, or passionate, concerning the things of God. And, is a false teacher, a hypocrite, and does not have a passion for souls: than that man is going to give an account to God one day. The pastor, the evangelist, the missionary, the Bible teacher, is supposed to feed the flock and not have the attitude of the contemporary crowd, the liberal crowd, the multitude of false teachers in the ministry in our age, and the preacher of hate and slander, etc... One day, as Ezekiel 34:16-17 states, God will will judge between the true shepherd and the false shepherd.

Also, to digress a moment to reference  Ezekiel 34:1-10 in the context of my current study of Ezekiel 34:23-31. The Lord Jesus, the True Shepherd, will one day raise up David, as a shepherd, to the nation of Israel, to guide the nation of Israel in the way of righteousness.

Yes, Weary Warrior is correct in this comments of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

Please forgive my digression as I too am terrified that I will not meet up to my responsibilities as a shepherd of the flock, as a missionary, every time I read Ezekiel 34:1-10

Indeed, I agree that the warning of Ezekiel 34:1-10 is a serious and solemn warning unto all pastors of the Lord's flock.  Thus it is worthy for us to understand the sinful behavior of the pastors who were confronted and condemned by our Lord in that passage.  (Note: I am not aware that any of the true prophets of the Lord God, the true preachers/teachers of God's Holy Word, were included in this confrontation and condemnation.  Rather, this confrontation and condemnation was laid against the false, ungodly pastors of Israel, as referenced in other places of Ezekiel (See 13:1-16; 22:23-31), as well as in Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc.)

1.  They fed themselves upon the flock, rather than faithfully feed the flock. (vs. 2-3, 8 )
2.  They ruled over the flock with force and cruelty, rather than care for the flock with compassion and spiritual healing. (v. 4)
3.  They scattered the flock through their cruelty to become a prey before the enemy, rather than search and seek after them with spiritual diligence. (vs. 5-8)

On the other hand, it is also worthy of notice that in the very same chapter the Lord our God ALSO confronted the selfish and ungodly members of the flock --

"And as for you, O my flock, thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I judge between cattle and cattle, between the rams and the he goats.  Seemeth it a small thing unto you to have eaten up the good pasture, but ye must tread down with your feet the residue of your pastures?  And to have drunk of the deep waters, but ye must foul the residue with your feet?  And as for my flock, they eat that which ye have trodden with your feet; and they drink that which ye have fouled with your feet.  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD unto them; Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat cattle and between the lean cattle.  Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed all the diseased with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad; therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle." (Ezekiel 34:17-22)

Edited by Pastor Scott Markle
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Bottom line difference between your view and my view...?

You - "What are they doing wrong?"

Me - "What are we doing wrong?"

Now, one of us is not approaching this correctly. I can only trust that the Chief Shepherd, whom we both serve sincerely, will make it known to each of us the things that we need to learn and mature in in order to serve Him better.

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Some further thoughts in relation to the confrontation and condemnation of Ezekiel 34:1-10.

1.  Is there anything in the surrounding context that might reveal the character of a faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God?  Yes, there is in Ezekiel 33:7-16 --

"So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me.  When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.  Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.  Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?  Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.  Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.  None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live."  So, the faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God is to warn the people of their sin through reproof and rebuke and to exhort the people to turn from that sin with broken-hearted repentance.

2.  Is there anything in the surrounding context that might reveal the manner in which many will respond to the faithful prophet/pastor/preacher of God?  Yes, there is in Ezekiel 33:30-33 --

"Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD.  And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they shew much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness.  And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not.  And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them.

Consider also Ezekiel 3:4-11 --

"And he said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.  For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand.  Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.  But the house of Israel will not hearken unto thee; for they will not hearken unto me: for all the house of Israel are impudent and hardhearted. Behold, I have made thy face strong against their faces, and thy forehead strong against their foreheadsAs an adamant harder than flint have I made thy forehead: fear them not, neither be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house. Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, all my words that I shall speak unto thee receive in thine heart, and hear with thine ears.  And go, get thee to them of the captivity, unto the children of thy people, and speak unto them, and tell them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear."

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6 hours ago, weary warrior said:

Bottom line difference between your view and my view...?

You - "What are they doing wrong?"

Me - "What are we doing wrong?"

Now, one of us is not approaching this correctly. I can only trust that the Chief Shepherd, whom we both serve sincerely, will make it known to each of us the things that we need to learn and mature in in order to serve Him better.

That's really funny, because the way I read your first post is that I was blaming everyone else for something I was doing wrong, which plainly shows that you didn't actually read the opening post.

As I read the posts following your first I see it as :

you: It is all the Pastor's fault.

Scott: It is sin wherever it is found.

funny how perceptions differ......

All I know is the problem is real and I want to fix it whatever it takes. I am trying on my part, but nothing seems to make a difference. But in fact all I can do is to do better on my part - I can't "force" others into it.

But the accusation that it is all my fault for being an unspiritual and boring pastor was certainly an encouragement, especially since you know me and my preaching so well.

Edited by DaveW
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3 minutes ago, DaveW said:

That's really funny, because the way I read your first post is that I was blaming everyone else for something I was doing wrong, which plainly shows that you didn't actually read the opening post.

As I read the posts following your first I see it as :

you: It is all the Pastor's fault.

Scott: It is sin wherever it is found.

funny how perceptions differ......

All I know is the problem is real and I want to fix it whatever it takes. I am trying on my part, but nothing seems to make a difference. But in fact all I can do is to do better on my part - I can't "force" others into it.

But the accusation that it is all my fault for being an unspiritual and boring pastor was certainly an encouragement, especially since you know me and my preaching so well.

Dave, your original post stated that it was a "common problem where I am". You then asked "how can we..." fix this situation. I took it as a general observation regarding the local Baptist churches as we know them. I in no way read that as a specific question regarding you yourself or your specific church. For my misunderstanding of the original question, and my reaction to it, I sincerely apologize. You are correct. I do not know you personally, nor do I know your church or you preaching. I have been speaking of a broad, general problem in IFB circles.

My personal offence to you was completely unintentional, and I am very sorry. Please forgive me this.

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On 2/4/2019 at 12:14 AM, DaveW said:

Thoughts people?

How can we (biblically of course) find a way to help people see the importance of the other services?

 

I do a lot of expository preaching and I try to find something in the passage, usually a story, or an incident, that shows that the scriptures, and the truths contained therein, are for our good.

I would like to mention two scripture verses to point out my thoughts.

Moses said, "And the LORD commanded us to do these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day." Deuteronomy 6:24

Paul said, "Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come." 1 Corinthians 10:11

In our work on the field, when we first started the work, we did not always have a Wednesday night service for several reasons. So, our experience is not so great a scale as in numbers. But, we have seen some good spiritual growth, and we have experienced, on a small scale, that once saints realize that the scriptures are  beneficial for our well being, and that further attendance, or work in the church, is good for their spiritual development, and family life, than they may want to come out of joy to learn more and not come out of duty.

I still remember the day when some of the folks in our latest work, even though small in numbers, decided among themselves to start doing some of the maintenance work on the building, attend visitation services, and help with the daily routine of starting a church. These blessings started when the folks that were saved started to see that the scriptures were written for our good, and that serving the Lord out of a heart of love, and not duty, was a blessing to their lives.

 

Edited by Alan
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16 hours ago, Alan said:

I still remember the day when some of the folks in our latest work, even though small in numbers, decided among themselves to start doing some of the maintenance work on the building, attend visitation services, and help with the daily routine of starting a church. These blessings started when the folks that were saved started to see that the scriptures were written for our good, and that serving the Lord out of a heart of love, and not duty, was a blessing to their lives.

Indeed, when the Lord Himself became the first love-priority of their lives.  There is always a distinct difference in attitude and behavior when this occurs.

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"Aside from Sunday morning services....."

In regard to the tittle, if the question is to which service time would be most "required" or commanded, then Sunday Evening service would be more biblical than Sunday morning, as it fulfills the request of Paul and its the only service time Jesus attended after his resurrection. 

However in regard to requirements, Christians aren't required to to do anything they don't want to. What they SHOULD do is a different matter.

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In my own experience, I found that, when I finally decided to get serious about my walk with the Lord, I WANTED to be in service, as much as possible. At the time, there was something going on just about 7-days a week at our church, and I got involved in many of them, though clearly, I couldn't do them all. 

But my point is, I WANTED to get in because in my heart, I was ready to get in. My pastor's preaching, which was always excellent, didn't change, I changed. Before that I spent a lot of time under excellent preaching not getting much from it, because MY heart wasn't ready. But when I was, I wanted to be there, Sunday, evening and morning, and Wednesday, and special meetings, and visitation. And I lament, til this day, all the time I wasted before that, and these are the things I try to instill in the young men in our church, the importance of making that decision to put Jesus on the pedestal of our lives, to follow Him, and to get in while young and strong. Sadly, it too often falls on deaf ears. Video games and cars and overtime and family events are all too important. 

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8 minutes ago, Ukulelemike said:

In my own experience, I found that, when I finally decided to get serious about my walk with the Lord, I WANTED to be in service, as much as possible. At the time, there was something going on just about 7-days a week at our church, and I got involved in many of them, though clearly, I couldn't do them all. 

But my point is, I WANTED to get in because in my heart, I was ready to get in. My pastor's preaching, which was always excellent, didn't change, I changed. Before that I spent a lot of time under excellent preaching not getting much from it, because MY heart wasn't ready. But when I was, I wanted to be there, Sunday, evening and morning, and Wednesday, and special meetings, and visitation. And I lament, til this day, all the time I wasted before that, and these are the things I try to instill in the young men in our church, the importance of making that decision to put Jesus on the pedestal of our lives, to follow Him, and to get in while young and strong. Sadly, it too often falls on deaf ears. Video games and cars and overtime and family events are all too important. 

Amen, and AMEN!  This is as I have been trying to communicate - The issue IS a heart-priority issue.

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