Nowadays though, most pastors are seen only at Sunday service and you can’t even ask questions during the service. But isn’t that what the edifying/teaching/learning process is all about? Jesus answered people’s questions and just as in regular school, students ask the teacher questions and that’s how they learn, so why should the church process be any different today? Why aren’t ‘we’ going to church to interact with our brethren and openly sharing our sorrows our triumphs our struggles and our hearts so that we may become closer and more like-minded and grow together in Christ? An interaction which also includes the pastors, elders, teachers and those spiritually-gifted all coming together as a ‘whole congregation edifying’ but I’ve never seen this happening. The ‘church process’ is basically a one-way-street. The Preacher talks, You listen and then Everyone goes home without edifying or asking questions and therefore not necessarily accomplishing anything. I mean what’s the point in having a church of 500 people for example but 490 of them are strangers to you? How is being part of ‘that kind of church’ any different than being part of a Rock Concert with 50,000 fans but 49,996 of them are strangers to you? In other words, the only thing you’ve got in common with those ‘500 people’ is that “you” all show up at the same church on Sunday. However, James 5:16 says: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” To me, this passage biblically defines the main function of a ‘church’ and is what “edifying” is all about. That’s how I think the earliest churches functioned and what I’ve looked for in a church but haven’t witnessed yet and probably never will because most churches are just a gathering place for believing strangers who have no intention of getting to know each other, let alone edifying in Christ?

Church services are merely staged scenes where believers have been trained to show up, sing songs, say a few prayers, listen to a speech about God which they’ve probably already heard or have read in the bible dozens of times and otherwise keep their mouth shut but not actually utilize the church building to interact with brethren. Hundreds of people in pews shoulder-to-shoulder and they don’t even know the Name of the person sitting right beside them. In fact, edification has been so blatantly omitted, that in some churches I’ve seen the pastor actually tell the congregation to turn around and look at each other and say hello to the person standing next to you and behind you and in front of you and “that” is as close to ‘believers edifying’ as most churches get which is ridiculous. Members of Glee Clubs and High School football teams are spiritually closer than most Churchgoers and if you need proof, then next time immediately after church service, just ask a complete stranger in your congregation if they would like to talk about God further and come to your house or go to theirs right after the service and see what happens? Their response will almost always be an uncomfortable No or No but thanks for asking or No but perhaps another time? But the reality is more likely that You would never dare ask a stranger in church to do that in the first place or even just to prove the point, simply because edification is not practiced in most churches? Therefore most churchgoers remain strangers and most pastors don’t even think to use a church for edification purposes. How biblically ignorant is that? Shouldn’t the pastor instead be instructing everyone to stick around after the service and get to know each other? I mean how can you get to know brethren in your own church when everybody goes home? It’s not possible! Period. You will never know your brethren and come to edify with them until God compels you make the effort to actually sit and talk with them and you have a church building right there in which to do ‘that’ but nobody does it and that is why it’s so “ridiculous”. After the service, you can’t even ask the preacher questions because they’ll claim to be too busy and if you’re having a spiritual crisis Monday to Saturday, the pastor is nowhere to be found. So even though a church might ‘appear to be’ functioning normally by having a Sunday service and a preacher giving a sermon to a bunch of believers, it may actually be a Dead church or misleading at best? So maybe the church service itself needs to be reformed? Maybe pastors need to stop lecturing ‘to’ the congregation and come down off their High Holy Horse and start interacting with them? How about a service where the first 15 minutes has the pastor thanking everyone for coming along with a short prayer; then for the next hour or two everyone can grab a coffee and mingle and introduce themselves to people they have never met before and sit and talk about God in fellowship, while the pastor and elders are mingling with everyone too and especially talking with those who haven’t found God yet and also getting to know their fellow parishioners better? Then perhaps the pastor could end the service with singing and rejoicing and even sharing some of the things they learned from the mingling; along with a final prayer?

But of most pastors are doing this, would never think of doing this and won’t ‘do that’ because it would mean losing ‘control’ over the congregation for an “hour or two” and taking the spotlight off of their self and the wonderful sermon they prepared. They can’t handle spontaneity in their church and leaving things up to God to ‘knit all the mingling together for his purpose’, not the pastor’s agenda and though God might surely appreciate worshipers gathering in churches on Sunday praising him in song but if “those doing the singing” don’t even know each other and need to be told to “say hello”, then perhaps it is little more than just paying Lip Service to God? And what good is a pastor who doesn’t use a church building for the ‘edification of its believers’ but rather to take center stage for themselves to speak their mind rather than mingle with their brethren and also practice what they preach which is How To get to know and love one another in Christ? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

What’s the point of having a building for believers to meet in about God but nobody actually meets anyone and talks about God with each other?

Surely I’m not the only one to discern this?

Not only that but why isn’t the church open all day on Sundays so believers could come and meet and edify with brethren and the pastor throughout the day and night? Or even leave and return to the church as they please to meet new brethren throughout the day? Isn’t that what the Sabbath is for? Isn’t that what Church Buildings are for? Isn’t that what God wants his children doing on Sundays in Church Buildings? Isn’t that God 101? Isn’t that Bible 101?

I mean what part of “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee” aren’t believers understanding? By all means, have a sermon and prayer and singing too but just because believers can sing in unison, doesn’t mean they are spiritually unified. Oh by the way, that unheard-of ludicrous concept of “mingling” and having a church open All Day on Sunday is called: An Open House. 🙂 Or shall we say it’s God’s Open Church Building for his children to utilize All Day on Sundays? Which means it’s a building for “the pastors, elders, teachers and those spiritually-gifted” to also come and go and hang out all day long and get to know their brethren and learn and teach others the importance of edifying in His name instead of just yapping at them for most of the service and then sending everyone home without anyone edifying. That is what cries out to me as being perhaps the single most Fundamental Flaw with today’s churches and what is “not going on”. Because like the saying goes: “talk is cheap” and if your church is only being used on Sunday part-time to hear a pastor ‘talk’ at 9AM and then it gets cleared out to make room for the next herd of cattle at 11AM or 7PM for more of the same “talk” and believers aren’t using the building to edify; then the pastor might as well lock the church doors on Sundays too because maybe God probably doesn’t bless “Part-Time” believers and doesn’t attend church buildings open only “Part-Time” and maybe God doesn’t waste his power on believers including pastors who spend No Time edifying with their brethren on Sundays in their own church buildings? Do you think God doesn’t notice that most parishioners are complete strangers to each other and this goes on week after week, year after year in most churches and isn’t it convenient for believers that church services are finished before the Ballgames start? Well so much for ‘dedicating our Sundays to God’. 😉

Makes you wonder what they’re teaching would-be pastors in School? Well obviously they aren’t being taught much about “edification” and most pastors never leave the sanctuary of their own church building to ‘spread the gospel’ so it appears they are being taught that a pastor’s main function is to wait for God to send them sinners to listen to their sermon and to run the Business end of a church building? In other words, today’s churches are a kind of One-Stop-Shopping-Center for all your salvation needs but only open on Sundays? Which means we’ve now got God trained to do all the dirty and dangerous work for us and he also fits everything into the pastor’s Sunday schedule?

Which is not true since ‘God is in control of everything’ and we go by his schedule but it sure seems like ‘pastors’ are now trying to control today’s churches and not necessarily according to the Bible either? Regardless, we are either doing what God wants or we’re not but the evidence clearly points to the latter because we’ve got so-called “Christian” churches devoid of edification, different doctrines, different beliefs, different titles, different prayers, different denominations, different bibles and even a different Jesus. There are others who write about these things too and I probably won’t be the last but why are so many Christian faith-based churches different in so many ways and why don’t believers have the wherewithal to even discuss? Have we all become ‘pillars of the church in our own minds’ and refuse to question anything we think and do? It’s not as though you have to look hard for these “differences” among Christian churches either. On the contrary, it’s more a matter of finding Two Christian Churches which are actually alike. That’s what I found most disturbing but it doesn’t matter what I think. A more relevant question is; what does God think about it? Because ultimately, doesn’t God do the ‘choosing’ of those whom he is saving and therefore, isn’t it by God’s will that each believer knows whether or not they are convicted in Christ? That’s how I feel properly convicted but other than that, I also think ‘edification with brethren’ was the most significant element of credence in the earliest churches and crucial to endurance? But it seems today’s churches are so far removed from that kind of ‘fellowship’ and are now using the Bible to ‘replace’ edification? Believers can’t even look their brethren in the eye at church let alone edify with them and if this is happening in Your church and questions aren’t being openly asked and answered, then perhaps it is Your thinking and the church you attend that is in question? And if what you read in the Bible doesn’t jive with what’s being preached in your church, then Speak Up and ask why or why not! God willing, you might be glad you did question your spiritual surroundings because if all you do now is show up on the Sundays which are convenient for you and avoid eye contact with the people around you and then go home, it’s likely no more a spiritual experience than staying home watching football or shopping at the mall?

We have more than 14 different versions of the Holy Bible too which has also led to differing opinions among believers. Nor is it implied that God is pleased to see his Word has perhaps been bastardized into many different biblical texts and interpretations? So how can there be unity in a belief system that has so many “differences”? Trust humankind though to turn ‘God’s Word’ into several different theories but 1 Corinthians 4:20 says: “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power”. So I believe it is God’s power that enables teachers to teach, and pastors to preach, and brethren to edify and in turn, the same power which enables our words to mean what God wants them to mean when interacting with others. The ‘written’ Word is perhaps merely a luxury afforded to believers of this age but mainly a reminder to keep us focused on desiring the ‘power’ to serve in God’s kingdom? Unfortunately the ‘written word’ can be manipulated by man and almost certainly has been re-written in many different ways over the centuries which may have a

Paul Asrequired , 12/18/11 01:30 AM

Hi Rodger,

I was raised ina church that preached water babtism as the only way to salvation. Missing church on Sunday was a deadly sin and the church I attended was the only church .

I was batized thinking I was being saved, not by what our Lord and Savior did at Calvary,or his finished work at the cross,

The question I have? Should I consider being babtized again since I was before under false pretenses? thanks

Larry Pinkerton , 01/10/12 01:32 AM

Dear Larry,
Yes, certainly. Baptism is never to earn Heaven nor is it necessary for salvation. Baptism is a picture of the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus. it is also a picture of dying to your old life and being resurrected to new life in Jesus. This will be your real baptism.
By the way, if you haven’t yet, it is probably time to look for a new church and a different set of friends.
Sincerely, roger

roger barrier , 01/19/12 12:11 PM

Hi Roger,
I am struggling a little with whether or not we as Christians have a responsibility to join in boycotts against company’s who hire people living in homosexual lifestyle? The case that is in the news recently, is JC Penny’s hiring Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. Can I have your thoughts on this subject please?

Connie Harper , 02/10/12 04:12 PM

Hi Roger… I have a question for the scientist in you. The bible says that one day, when God’s purposes for the earth are complteted, He will fold up the earth as a vesture. I get this picture of Him putting a garment away in a drawer. I sometimes wonder if our moon isn’t such a planet – used up in the fulfillment of some other plan God fulfilled in some other past history and now covered with eons layers of cosmic dust. I also wonder what mysteries might be uncovered if we were able to excavate the moon’s surface like we do earth’s archeological sites. I wonder if a planet such as Mars may be a planet yet without form and void in a sense, reserved to be used in some plan musing still in God’s bossom, awaiting the timing of His perfect wisdom. Then I consider this magnificent, incredible, mighty God we endeavor to serve and I wonder like David; what is man that He is even mindful of us and who is man that God would send His only begotten Son that He should die for us? Then my mind goes to thoughts about the awesome, infathomable wonders of the myriad galaxies and solar systems in the immeasurable vastness of space and I think about how one day, and one day soon, believers will stand before His throne, looking at Him in al His unveiled and unobscured glory, power and might. I see brilliant, radiant, dazzling light. Astounding, powerful, fearsome flashes of lightning bursting forth all around Him… rolling, roiling billows of flame and thunderous, cracking lightning flashing from within. Might and awe and silence – and I have to wonder; who is man that a God such as ours is mindful of him? It’s all baffling, awesome and wonderful at the same time. So here are two questions – simply, I’d like your thoughts on my musings about our moon and what you think that day in which the redeemed all stand before the throne of our mighty God may be like. Thanks, Roger, and God bless!

Ed Costanza , 08/09/12 12:58 PM

while reading about throwing our money away on lotto tickets, I was wondering if throwing money at a preacher who doesn’t mention God, Jesus or most other biblical names in a sermon. He is also the treasurer and have caught him in a few lies. Are we supposed to discuss this with him. A Lot of us have tried and he just makes sound so right. I also agree with you about the lotto tickets. Thans for answering, Rose

rose BURNS , 09/12/12 11:25 PM

Dear Roger,

I have a friend who married a woman he didn’t love some 25 years ago. Forget the reasons why. None are good – there was a lot of confusion in his life and he did it – that’s that. Over the 25 years, he and his wife have been to counseling several times. None of it helped much, if at all. The couple has two kids they both love very much. Throughout that 25 years, pastors, counselors and friends all told them they needed to stay together, try and work things out. Now many of those same people ask “Why’d you stay together?” and “How’d you do it?” or “How’d you last this long?” Judging by comments you’ve made regarding the marriages of other troubled inquirers who’ve written in, I think you’d say the same. This friend tells me he feels damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Imagine how he feels after receiving no support from pastors, counselors and friends who, instead of helping him work toward divorce, influenced him not to, then doubled back on him, asking why he didn’t. Too much pain for too long, so on this friend’s behalf I’m gonna be blunt… Pardon my angry phrasing of the question but I have to ask – “What the hell?!” How should he deal with his emotions and the remaining quandary he’s in?

Signed – Angry…

john smith , 10/13/12 11:53 PM

I saw today that Englishman Sean hogdson(who spent 28 years in a british prison for a murder that he never committed has died just three years after he was released after being found to be innocent)I’d like you to tell me why a god who detests the condemnation of the innocent indeed in the bible(PROVERBS 17 VERSE 15)it says this so why would god who knows this not prevent this man from spending such a long time in prison(28 years is a very long time indeed)for something he never did even if this miscarriage was the result of human failings??and god knew that this was so??god tells us not to complain when life is hard yet allows this type of cruel unfairness to happen??

Ashley Martin , 10/27/12 08:43 AM

From Roger:
Dear Ashley,
This is the battle we face. Jesus tells us that Satan is now in charge of this world and he wrecks all sorts of horrible things on this earth. But, and this is what the Book of Revelation is all about, at the 2nd coming Jesus will retake this world as his own and then there will be peace on earth and He will make things right. After all, life doesn ‘t end at death. Until then we fight sin and injustice and pray, as Jesus asked us to, for the Kingdom to come on this earth asap.

I agree with you, what a tragedy. So painful for him to endure for so many years.
I hope my thougts help a little bit.

Love, Roger

roger barrier , 11/07/12 10:37 AM

Post a Comment

First Name *

Last Name *

E-mail (Will not be posted) *

Comment *

Preach It, Teach It is an extension of Casas Church in Tucson, Arizona. If you would like to financially contribute to our goal of making sermon resources and pastoral advice freely available to all who need it, please contact us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: