What attracts people to the variety of churches that are in the world today? It seems that churches in the past attracted people with their elegant buildings—at least by the looks of them—and maybe that still applies to some. But now it seems that they more often interest people by their programs, their music performances, or their preaching that doesn’t step on toes. and many will go for the freedom that they can enjoy at a particular church while still being called Christians.
But what would be attractive about a church with discipline—the type of church that has rules? “a member must be in good standing and...” and we have the list of dos and don’ts. Usually people don’t like rules—at least I don’t. But somehow it works best to have rules in a church, in a home, and really anywhere. and if our heart is right, we are actually attracted to churches with discipline. We are drawn to them. and when our heart is not where God would like it to be, and we are not growing, we tend to cringe at discipline.
What is meant by the word disciplined when we refer to a church?
Does it mean that we are punished for all of our wrong doings? No. When the word disciplined is placed before the word child, we know that it means a well behaved and orderly child—a disciplined child. What about before the word church? It’s very similar. It means a church that uses the Bible to guide all of its decisions and shape all of its applications. A disciplined church takes the Word at what it says, sees a law that should be kept, and writes a guideline to follow. It also must not make up applications that aren’t in the Word, neither may it take out or leave out what God has set as a principle. It does not force any of its members, but rather helps them, to obey God’s Word. God wanted it that way. He wrote the Book; we are to follow it the best we can, and a true Church helps us do that. Not only the leaders help, but just as much, the others in the church.
While Jesus was on earth, He said that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. That’s the disciplined part. And when a church (each member) is keeping Jesus’ commandments, it is attractive.
But to whom? If it’s so attractive, why aren’t more and more coming? That could have lots of answers. But there’s one that applies here: the heart condition of the person looking on. If one is not seeking to find a deeper relationship with Christ, he will also not be able to see a full, literal, Bible believing Church as being attractive. It will look either legalistic or boring to him.
Is that how it is for us? How are our hearts? Are we, as members in a disciplined church, thinking that we have too many dos and don’ts? Are we bringing up a question that has been repeated in our minds throughout time, “Yea, hath God said...?” and doing that which we know deep inside is wrong and violates a church decree that is for our good? What are we doing then? Aren’t we hindering the attractiveness of God’s church? We can. People see our lives every day. Are we portraying God to them in a true representation? Let’s make sure we are not hindering but rather helping and encouraging God’s Kingdom growth.
So what makes our churches attractive for one who is seeking God’s kingdom first? These may not seem like much, but they are, to those who are looking for help and are tired of churches that practice only part of God’s Word and count the rest as “a culture or tradition of that time.” Here are a few:
• Charity for each other that the world doesn’t have, which includes forgiving each offender and going on.
• Peace and joy that they can see on our faces.
• Assurance and trust in God, leaving all in His hands and knowing He will work it out.
• Orderliness in our homes.
• The fact that we cover our bodies rather than making a show of them, and our clothes that are different from the world’s.
• Fellowship with like-minded believers and the safety there
True seekers will try to find people and churches who do these things as the Bible states. People are looking for this, and it brings them joy when they finally find a true, disciplined church. We must keep on, pressing forward, following Him with all our hearts and minds. God will take care of the rest.
~ Fredericksbug, PA