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IT’S TIME TO ‘CLEAN’ THE CHURCH !! HEY Church leaders ! Hey, “ Reverend “ Hey, “ Pastor “ Hey, Minister ! Hey, “ Elders “ - - - Turn off the t.v. put down that stupid device you call a cell phone, slash portable computing device, Slash DISTRACTION UNIT and pay attention ! Who are you talking to that is THAT important anyway? It better be JESUS, but it most likely is not, is it ? ? ! ! ? ? Answer me { PLEASE } --- ( 1 ) Question... Ready? Where are our role models today? Where did [ you ] go, “ Role model “ ?? ?? WHERE IS OUR LEADERSHIP AT ? Somebody? Anybody? Nothing, huh? Maybe…….Maybe…….Wait ! There is no: “ maybe.” There is a dark certainty happening. And it’s happening right now. There is no leadership, because EVERYONE is far too distracted by all of these stupid little technology devices. Why they are EVERYWHERE, and embedded in practically everything we do. All of the things that are distracting you, are conveniently right at your fingertips. Such helpful little devices aren’t they? Don’t even get me started on how physically and Spiritually Dangerous this is. The fact is, we are not focused on GOD ALMIGHTY, OUR LORD and SAVIOR The way we SHOULD BE. Shame on us ! Where are the Male role models at? Honestly? GOD has really freed up my personal schedule. ( Thank you FATHER ) and I spend a good majority of it Praising HIM. Studying HIM. Learning from HIM. Following HIM. HE is my role model. Our Church leadership needs to be doing much of the same. But it’s focus is elsewhere. Why? Now, ( as my Mom used to say ) let’s stop beating around the bush….. I understand it takes X-amount of $ mammon to run a church. But how much? And how much is too much? Are you ( and I’m talking to the leadership still ) really being led in the spirit? Seems to me, if you & your church ( building ) are being led in the spirit, then your church ( body ) will be there, through no works of your own, but through HIM ! THE GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL is [ not ] about running a business. Sorry to disappoint you there… Contrary to what ( so-called ) Modern Theological Institutions are telling you. Where is the trust? The absolute, true faith and trust that GOD will see to you getting your message out to the masses. You know who the Unnamed Servant is, right? THE HOLY SPIRIT? Remember HIM? HE [ WILL ] see your ministry through, despite what your “ business associates & advisors tell you. That is - “ IF “ your faith is in the right place. If we don't stop embracing the world, we will continue to lose so many good souls to an eternity in the lake of fire. So gird up thy loins like a man, men ! Pastors must exercise assertive male leadership to guide their churches away from a feminized Christianity. “Servant leadership doesn’t mean that you never assert yourself." “Servant leadership doesn’t mean that you don’t give directional lead to the thing that you’re leading. Servant leadership means you do it for the good of the group or the individual that you’re leading.”

“Men generally do not emote.” “They generally do not verbalize all their feelings. And this is not a bad thing. Men do relate differently, but they shouldn’t have to change all that in order to be a success in the local church. Too many men are being made to feel that they have to check their masculinity at the door.”

** I love our strong Christian women that participate in our worship groups. I do. They are well versed, well studied, and are willing to step up to the plate. There aren't many { men } doing so in our groups, unless it's to deny, or argue. It's become a sad reality that needs to change. Bad public education, poor reading & reading comprehension skills, horrifically bad worldly distractions are just the tip of the iceberg as to why this is going on. Values, or a lack of, are killing the church. satan may have been defeated at the cross, but the fight is not only still happening, it is increasing in the sense that if satan is going down ( and he is ) then he's gonna take as many as he can down with him. We need to change this, and change it fast.

We ALL need to exercise our freewill that we take for granted, and choose the right path. It's time for us ALL to step up and shun, once and for all, this sick world system. Remember it IS after all -

YOUR choice.

Brothers and sisters, we ought to recover the roots of real Christianity before those who care are too few to do anything useful about it. Part of that recovery will involve identifying some of the factors that contribute to the problem. Some of these will be difficult to consider, but we ought to consider them anyway. Some of the problems we might explore are these:

1. Pastors are increasingly hired for their management skills or rhetorical ability over and above their biblical wisdom or their meeting of the biblical qualifications for eldership.

Our shepherds are increasingly hired for their dynamic speaking or catalytic leadership rather than their commitment to and exposition of the Scriptures, and for their laboring in the increase in attendance rather than the increase of gospel proclamation.

Now, of course, none of those contrasted qualities are mutually exclusive. Pastors can be both skillful managers and biblically wise; they can be both great speakers and great students of Scripture; and they can both attract crowds and proclaim the gospel. The problem is that, while they are not mutually exclusive, the latter qualities in each contrast have lost priority and consequently have lost favor. We have not prospered theologically or spiritually when we emphasize the professionalization of the pastorate.

2. The equating of “worship” with just one creative portion of the weekly worship service.

The dilution of the understanding of worship is a direct result of the dilution of theology in the church. The applicational, topical approach to Bible understanding has the consequence of making us think (and live) in segmented ways. The music leader takes the stage to say, “We’re gonna start with a time of worship.” Is the whole service not a time of worship? Isn’t the sermon an act of worship?

Isn’t all of life meant to be an act of worship?

One reason we have struggled to develop fully devoted followers of Jesus is that we incorrectly assign our terminology (equating worship with music only) and thereby train our people to think in truncated, reductionistic ways.

3. The prevalent eisegesis in Bible study classes and small groups.

“Eisegesis” basically means “reading into the Bible.” It is the opposite of “exegesis,” the process of examining the text and “drawing out” its true meaning. Many leaders today either don’t have the spiritual gift of teaching or haven’t received adequate training, and the unfortunate result is that most of our Bible studies are rife with phrases like, “What does this text mean to you?” as opposed to, “What does this text mean?” Application supplants interpretation in the work of Bible study, so it has become less important to see what the Bible means and more important to make sure the Bible is meaningful to us.

4. The vast gulf between the work of theology and the life of the church.

We have this notion that theology is something that takes place somewhere “out there” in the seminaries or libraries while we here at home are doing the real work of the Christian faith with our church programs. In many churches, theology is seen as purely academic, the lifeless intellectual work for the nerds in the church or, worse, the Pharisees.

5. Biblical illiteracy. This one is a pet peeve of mine !

Our people don’t know their Bible very well, and this is in large part the fault of a generation of wispy preaching and teaching (in the church and in the home). Connected to this factor is the church’s accommodation and assimilation of the culture’s rapid shifting from text-based knowledge to image-based knowledge. I’ll say more about that in the next chapter, but when it comes to the text itself, I suspect that a lot of the superficial faith out there results from teaching that treats the Bible like Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Fortune-cookie preaching will make brittle, hollow, syrupy Christians.

6. A theologically lazy and methodologically consumeristic/sensationalistic approach to the sacraments.

The rise of the “scoreboard” approach to attendance reporting, some of the extreme examples of spontaneous baptism services, the neglect of the Lord’s Supper or the abuse of it through fancifulness with the elements or lack of clear directives in presenting it—these are all the result of evangelicalism’s theological bankruptcy. We don’t think biblically about these matters, because we’re think- ing largely along the lines of “what works?” and consequently we might make a big splash with our productions but not produce much faith.

The source of all of these factors, if they may be reckoned accurate, is a fundamental misuse of the Bible by the leaders entrusted with preaching and teaching it. And the grand result of all of these factors is that as our churches get larger, our message keeps shrinking. We fill our buildings with scores and scores of people, but we’ve reduced the basic message to fit the size of an individualistic faith. The bottom line is this -- “ WE “ ALL are the Church. Our SAVIOR, OUR KING, OUR KINSMAN REDEEMER { IS } Coming ! Are we really ready?? Let’s all BE READY !! When HE comes, when HE Returns for HIS Church, For HIS Bride, lets all BE READY ! Not getting ready… but READY ! When HE say’s: ready? We need to be able to confidently say -

YES ! I AM READY LORD !!! I AM READY !!! I am prepared. I am waiting. I AM READY !

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