Meeting, Leading, Sharing

At the last preacher’s meeting in Effingham, Stephen Bradd shared with us a remark to this effect: “The elders have determined they would not spend more time in meetings than they do in visiting.”  I was impressed by that remark. This sentiment was expressed by elders of a congregation and how they were able to make a positive contribution to their local growth. I don’t know that I have it exactly correct, but the sense of it is rather clear just the same.

The elders of the congregation are to be men who “smell like sheep” (to borrow a phrase). They are men who are to know the flock in order to lead them spiritually and emotionally. When the elders spend more time in meetings than in leading and sharing can growth really occur? I wonder.

#elders, #growth, #meeting

Name An Item Or Habit

From a spiritual perspective, the following are some of my observations regarding items or habits no longer in use today (comparatively speaking) as they were three to four generations ago:

1) The Bible is no longer habitually read, studied and used by members of the Lord’s church like it was in the 1940’s and 1950’s (we used to be called “walking Bibles” by those outside the church – http://cedarparkchurchofchrist.org/cpcofc/index.php?n=Articles.2010DailyBibleStudy).

2) Looking at all of the immorality in our society today, we can plainly see that Interest in spiritual values and principles are no longer “in vogue.” If they were, children would be taught these values at home and our society today would be less immoral as a result.

3) Hell fire and damnation sermons are today rarely heard from the pulpit (I grew up hearing these type of sermons on a regular basis back in the 1940’s). And guess what? The Lord’s church grew dramatically.

4) Home Bible studies with others are virtually non-existent today (no time to study, folks say).

5) Personal bible study at home is virtually non-existent today. Too many worldly influences (too many digital “toys”), thus, no time to study.

6) In the 1940’s and 50’s, folks habitually assembled to worship the Lord – so much so, that two to three week gospel meetings were not uncommon (I attended some of them). Today, they are unheard of. If we can get members to come to a three-day gospel meeting, we count ourselves successful.

7) Pews are not being filled today as they were three to four generations ago. The testimony of the “empty pew” is a testimony to our lack of focus on spiritual things (Colossians 3:1-2): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/08/09/lessons-from-an-empty-pew/

I could go on and on and on (like the energizer battery bunny), but the above are enough samples to let folks see the fact that spirituality has greatly waned in our country and in the Lord’s church.

What’s the solution to all of the above? Open the Book! (read it and do what it says do – James 1:22-25): http://mbriley.preachersfiles.com/2008/01/08/lets-open-the-book/

#bible, #children, #church, #habit, #home, #meeting, #member, #principle, #read, #society, #spiritual, #study, #value, #vogue, #worship