The Way I See It, A Pastor’s Perspective

Southaven,MS

Spiritual Health

Sometimes I will hear Sheep complain about their Church, or their Shepherd, or that they’re looking around for a different Church, or that they may have left their Church and are warning others to stay away. Disillusioned or fed up, they make it a point to remind others of how they were mistreated! While I understand that sometimes Sheep can be hurt, and some Shepherds can hurt members with their words or actions, the truth is there are Church members who are operating under a common myth or misconception. The myth is that the Church exists to meet their spiritual needs, and to maintain their spiritual health.
That is just not true!
The Church primarily exists to evangelize the world and to provide fellowship for like-minded Saints!
Helloooo….JESUS and the Holy Spirit are there to fulfill your spiritual needs and keep you healthy spiritually, not the Church!
Your relationship with Him, and the depth of that relationship, is what should be meeting your every spiritual need, keeping you healthy!

Jesus said this in John chapter 4;
“but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
In John 6 He uttered these words;
“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

If your Church experience leaves you hungry for more and thirsty for more, then you don’t need more Church, or a different Church, YOU NEED MORE JESUS!
Granted, teaching and training are a vital and necessary part of a Church’s role in laying a foundation for you, but the level of your spiritual well-being and health is in direct proportion to the depth of your relationship with Jesus, and should not be based on whether or not the Pastor speaks to you in the hallway after service.

In an email in 2015, Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship Church noted the following statistic; he stated the overall ‘Christian’ Church population in America has remained at a constant percentage of the population for several years, and in some polls even declining slightly. In other words, individual Church growth, especially in ‘Mega’ Churches, was not coming from the lost being saved, but rather from people leaving their current Church and becoming part of another congregation.

Certainly there are valid instances for leaving a Church; but the next time you feel compelled to quit your Church, pull out your spiritual dipstick and check your Jesus level. When that’s full, then the sometimes stupid things that people do or say that wound you, especially those in leadership, will be easier to digest, and you’ll be able to forgive them and move forward; perhaps sympathetic to the understanding they didn’t intentionally do it to hurt you. Yes, some will leave a church if they’re being called to another Body to serve, or they may leave if they don’t like the worship or even the preaching, but those with healthy spiritual levels of Jesus and His abiding presence will go on with their lives, and will not continue to destroy that Church or the Pastor after they leave!
Leave if you must, but leave it alone. Remember, when you walk in unforgiveness, you’re drinking poison expecting the other person to die!!
It’s not about you, it’s about JESUS!! And that’s the way I see it!

Chaplain Mike Upchurch
Team RFC®
Racers For Christ®