Doing All the Right Things - Caring for Churches

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Caring for Churches
Doing All the Right Things – In a Right Way

(Colo. 3:23-25) “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.”

I hope and want to believe that most pastors are trying to do all the right things in a right way for the Lord and for the best of the church. If there is a right way of doing things then it means that there is also a wrong way of doing the same things. Here I’m speaking concerning the things that we are doing in our churches along with our ministries. It could be that we are doing some things right and then other things wrong and maybe with some things it really doesn’t matter.

There is always room for learning to be better at doing things the right way if we are willing to understand that what we are doing is not quite right or not working well. In our Baptist churches there are just a few things that we need to make sure we are doing right for the sake of the members and the church as a whole. Doing all the right things doesn’t mean doing what everyone else is doing or the way everyone else may be doing it. It’s doing the right thing that God desires of you and the church that you’re presently in now for its mission. Of course there are many other important things to be done in a right way in our Baptist churches but I will only present a few at this time.

1. Preaching and Teaching– (Eph. 4:15-16) “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”

As pastors of the church we should love to teach and preach the word of God. Of course this is doing a right thing but we need to make sure that we are doing it in a right way because there is a wrong way to do these. When pastors teach and preach only out of duty and drudgery or in a wrong spirit of spite then teaching and preaching is done, but in a wrong way.

We have all seen preaching without a right spirit of love and compassion from someone that was speaking hard things without love. It comes through as anger, haughtiness and pride and the people are not helped but hurt and injured from such teaching and preaching. It’s not only what a preacher says that needs to be right but also how he says it; it needs to be done in a spirit of love. A pastor can preach on hard subjects from a heart of passion of what he believes about them if he does it in love and concern for the people.

Every pastor should learn to express love and compassion to those whom he teaches and preaches to, from a heart of humility being the Lord’s spokes man. Those to whom a teacher or preacher speaks to should see Jesus and not just the man speaking. May we preachers keep preaching the right thing and get better at doing it in a right way.

2. Activities– (Acts 2:42-47) “And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
In the early stages of the church there was much activity and the people inside and outside the church where moved by what was going on in the community for Christ. There are a lot of good and right things that should be going on in the local church that have the member’s active in many ways. Every church needs active members to do the work of the ministry throughout the many ministries and services that a church has to offer and are called to do.

Again there should be balance in doing the right thing in a right way in relation to what and how many activities we have in and for our churches. In many churches there seems to be an unbalance of too many activities within the church, without considering the needs of the members with their personal lives. There are activities that if done right and in a right way can be a great help and blessing to the church and to those members that are involved in them. Then again there are sometimes so many activities going on at the church that the members don’t have time to do anything concerning needed duties at home and with the family.

A good rule to follow is to have only the activities that God intends for the church to grow and minister to its members and their mission field where God has placed the church. If our members are so tied up with an over amount of church activities there will be a loss of energy and workability for them to get involved. Having the right activities done in a right way will add to the excitement and enjoyment of getting involved without feeling guilty.
If the members decide not to get on board with every activity that the church has planed then that should be their own decision. People that are forced into doing things don’t do well for themselves or others.

If our activities are not helping and promoting the home and family then there may be too many activities that people feel that they need to attend and may be overwhelmed. Many times churches have so many activities that the families don’t have a real home life that promotes growth with the family members themselves. They stay to busy doing things, instead of growing in the Lord to be the right person in their relationships at home. Healthy families in the Lord will build healthy a church for the Lord. Having a good balance of right activities done in a right way will help grow everyone in the church family. Also don’t forget that everyone needs rest and relaxation to refresh and recharge to be active for the next activity.

3. Standards– (2 Cor. 6:17) “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,”
Church or Christian standards, “OH NO” not this again someone might be saying, especially if there is a negative affiliation with speaking about this subject. There are so many books and articles that have been written on this topic that it may not set well with some of our pastor’s or churches in today’s culture. There is by the way “standards” in all churches no matter how “right or left” they may be. All will consider themselves right or wrong with regards of what they believe are certain church and personal standards.

By standards most independent Baptist are meaning those things that one is doing or not doing in their personal lives according to their beliefs and understanding from the Bible. There are some clear (do’s and don’ts) that are without debate but let’s be honest there are many things that are not and are just personal preferences.  (Rom. 14:5) “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."- (Benjamin Franklin).

Having standards is a right thing to do in our churches if they are approached and done in a right way with the people involved. Most pastors and churches understand that there are certain standards for each step of leadership in the church. But in some churches the leadership tries to impose or demand every member to measure up to their own personal standards. Making people conform to a set of standards without a heart of conviction from the Holy Spirit is making them do them in ignorance or against their will (note end of last paragraph). Give people time to let the Holy Spirit bring them along to have a true heart decision and to be fully persuaded in their own minds and go ahead and love them anyway.

One would be amazed of all the different “standards” that are across our independent Baptist churches today. From good Biblically thought out standards in love, to the crazy, ridiculous and sometimes weird ideas from someone’s personal lifestyle or preferences. Each pastor and church should prayerfully consider what they believe to be Godly and Biblical standards in their own church. Hopefully it will be done in a right way and for the right reasons and not just to satisfy some school or prominent preacher in the past or present. May what we say with a heart of conviction what are churches standards are, but do it in love. And explaining that they also agree with what the Bible says and not just what we want others to do personally.

Tips on Personal and church standards that are Holy Spirit led and not manmade traditions:
  1. Make sure that they are from the Holy Spirit and not just from what others think.
  2. Seek to know that they are truly Biblically based and not from someone else’s ideas.
  3. Don’t try to make everyone else conform to your personal standards; you are probably not conforming to someone else’s that has more convictions than you in a certain area.
  4. Understand that there are many people that are growing in the area of learning standards.
  5. Certain leadership standards and qualifications are for certain positions in the church.
  6. Love should be the most important “standard” in all that we do and promote in helping people to learn and live by any Biblical standards. (1Cor.13)

4. Visitation– (1 Peter 2:12) “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

Certainly no honest and good Baptist would argue that having a good visitation plan in the local church is the right thing to do. But are we doing visitation in a right way that is still productive and helpful to the church and community that God has placed us to minister in? Over the years I have seen many well intentioned plans for church visitation but many are not working for the church as it once did years before. Many churches are just doing it out of duty and there is not much delight with most of the members that are doing it.

Everyone just about agrees that a church should have a visitation program but they are having a hard time doing or getting it right for them. Each church needs to know and understand what will work for their church and community.  And not just follow again certain trends of other churches that may or may not work for their church. Doing the right thing in a right way may look different in different communities depending on the location and culture of a church.

There are many different types and ways of doing visitation through the local church to reach their mission field. It’s not necessarily the methods that we use as much as how we are practicing visitation in a right way to meet the needs of others. Is it a ridged plan that’s enforced by a guilt ridden method to make people do it or a grace that imparts enjoying visiting others? We should be doing visitation out of a heart of love for others seeing their need of salvation and restoration or exhortation. Visitation should not only be seeking to win the lost but also to minister to the saints who are struggling in their Christian lives.

Many pastors have been aggressive in “door to door” visitation for the lost, but not in “house to house” visitation to the saints, meaning only focusing on the lost and not on the saved. It was said that Dr. Lee Roberson used to say, “A home going pastor makes for a church going people” and I would agree. Our visitation should be directed in all the needs of people those who are lost that need salvation as well as the saints that need restoration and encouragement. Every church should be aggressively evangelistic but also sensitive to exhort one another daily so that the church may be seeking the lost as they should.

Doing visitation is a right thing to do and will be a blessing to all those involved if it is done in a right way. To enforce and to guilt rid church members into going on visitation can result in discouragement and bad attitudes. It’s better to evaluate our visitation programs and methods to help church members want and enjoy going on visitation rather than have to. Many times just a little planning or adjustment in how we do visitation can make all the difference in doing it the right way. If you’re still doing visitation the same way that was done fifty years ago then you might want to consider the times and your present mission field.

Looking forward to seeing visitors on Sunday? Then may we visit someone through the week.
Have a blessed Sunday and I hope that God brings many visitors to your church.
Bro. Mickey - SCM

2 Corinthians 11:28, "Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches."
Helping pastors and people to seek God’s best in ministry.
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