On a Vibrant Congregation

“A congregation which is full of life, speaks, prays, and sings daily together, is a mighty fortress against the continual danger of lukewarmness.”  – Count Zinzendorf

What a powerful statement about the health and vibrancy of a local church.  In ages past, this described the church to a T.  During the apostolic era, the believers gathered daily and lukewarmness would not be a word used to describe the Jerusalem church.  In fact, those believers suffered great hardship and persecution but it was precisely because they found the strength and encouragement of God in their brothers and sisters that they were enabled to continue.

Similarly, at other points in history when reformations and renewals have taken over the hearts of the church-goers it has been spurred on and sustained by the daily gathering of believers to hear the word, pray together and sing praises to God.  Consider the Korean church.  It’s members gather daily, to pray and sing, often as early as 4:30 each morning.  The typical Korean missionary is on fire and their churches are growing and expanding while the gospel goes forth.

Now consider the typical anglo church.  These churches can barely keep their doors open.  Prayer meetings are unheard of, and getting people to gather daily is unthinkable – there is just too much stuff going on in the lives of most church members to consider corporate prayer and worship as needed or necessary.  What an unfortunate situation the church finds itself in.

Do the words of one worship leader telling of our reality? “Too many of us are far more passionate about lesser, temporal concerns such as getting ahead at the office, finding personal happiness in a hobby, driving a new car, or rearing well-balanced children.  But we rarely ever get excited about Christ Himself, at least on any consistent basis…for all practical purposes, we’re thoroughly ‘married’…Christ is more like a mistress to us.  He’s someone with whom we have these periodic affairs to reinvigorate our spirits so we can return refreshed, to engage all the other agendas that dominate us most of the time.”

Is Christ a side-line affair in you life or is he your first love?  Might it be time for the church to reflect on the wisdom of the past and heed the observations of the present?  Do we need to be praying, singing and speaking to one another daily?  Would more frequent gatherings of larger bodies of believers encourage and sustain a passion for Christ?  Our we in danger of becoming lukewarm?  Are we already there?  These are but a few questions that each and every believer needs to personally reflect upon and consider, and then in courage, share your personal observations with someone else in the body and begin praying for a passion to well up more and more within you.

To God be the glory.

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About Scott Roberts

pastor of Hope in Christ Church, Bellingham, WA
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