We Are To Have the Attitude of Christ! P5

Did you know after over 30 years of conducting church growth research, one of the primary ways a church grows is because of its fruitfulness demonstrated by “Hospitality?” 

How does the fact that the great news of Christ gives us the ability to have Hospitality  to take you through your community connections? How can it better keep you from being distracted from the real call and the precepts of our Lord Jesus Christ?

The Quintessential way to Grow your Church is to Understand and Implement Hospitality!

Key Passages: Matthew 25:34-43; Luke 10:30-37; Acts 4:32; Romans 12:13; 16:33; 1 Timothy 5:10; Hebrews 13:2; 1 Peter 4:7-11; 3 John 1:5-8

However, as a “spiritual gift,” some Christians will have a specific call and empowerment to do this. People in the world may be more concerned for their own needs and agendas than they are for God’s clear doctrine and purpose, but as Christians, we are called to go beyond ourselves to serve others well (Titus 2).

How do we know this is at work? “Kindness” is the proof of authenticity (Rom. 2:1-4; 12:4-21; 16:1; 1 Cor. 12:7-11; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:12-14; 1 John 3:16-23)!

If your church is personality driven, that is the pastor is the center stage, a hipster or megalomaniac personality, what you have is not a church, but at best a motivational speaker club. Thus, there is no real reason a person will be at your church except to have their ears tickled and with such a shallow pool, no real ministry will commence or people helped effectually. A true pastor must teach, lead, coach and disciple and point the church leadership to Hospitality foremost before any wants of the leadership come and not the needs of anything that disrupts or distracts peoples from Christ.

What does this mean in a church?

As Christians, we are to typify faith and reason together so we can exhibit the maturity needed to make the fruit of the Spirit and its byproduct of Hospitality, by also making wise decisions and have a purpose in life and put it in play as a community. This also means directly caring for those in need, such as the sick, infirmed, and poor.

 

 

We Are To Have the Attitude of Christ! P4

Read and study, 1 Peter 4: 1-11

“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”1 Peter 4: 9-10

Does Hospitality cover your church? Do you use it to help others? 

We are to be fueled and empowered by God’s love, and this includes its fruit of Hospitality, for those who come to our church. If not, we are not getting it. We are not getting what church is about, we are not getting what God’s call is or our purpose in the community.

Let’s look what this means. “Hospitality” specifically refers here to taking in travelers with generosity-not grudgingly or with complaining. In general, since we have Christ’s love flowing in us, it should flow to others around us.

This means we are to be willing to give preference to others, to look out for and look after one another, and to share, with discernment, what God has given us, including our family, home, finances, and food. In the church setting, this means we get beyond “the church is mine” mentality.

“Hospitality” is an attitude of stewardship where we do not own anything because we are merely the caretakers for the real owner, God. He desires us to share His stuff, and we comply out of reverence and gratitude to Him. Thus, as we come along side others, we are to welcome them and act out our faith in real, helpful kindness, generosity, and deeds. This includes providing help and lodging to fellow Christians, helping those who are being persecuted, and helping out in our community (Matt. 25:34-43; Luke 10:30-37; Rom. 12: 3-8, 13: 16:33; 1 Cor. 12:1-7; 1 Timothy 3:2; 5:10; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:2; 3 John 1:5-8).

“Use whatever gift” means to practice your spiritual gifts, and realize that the diversity we have is beneficial for one another. It also means being charitable or generous to others with what Christ has given you, and to serve Him without being held back by fear, time, or lack of talent.

“Very words of God” refers to Scripture, the words that God has spoken to us. This means to be careful how you speak and minister as we sometimes speak for God as He uses us!

Hospitality is the turning of our backs on our ‘ownership’ of the church, thinking it is mine and just my self-concerns and facing our neighbors. This will take the surrender of our will to Christ’s. If Hospitality does not take us beyond our pride and ownership mindset, then we have only a club of pride, not a real church infused with God’s love.

Hospitality must be our model for church life. It must flow into us from Christ, and in return, flow out from us to those around us. God’s love is the ultimate power for the Christian. Love is more than a feeling; it has segments and characters to it (John 13:1; 15:13;1 Corinthians 13:3; 1 John).

Love is also a choice, a decision that must be perused and worked on!

 

Church Health Indicators: Other Areas that Need Attention

 

  • Your church is healthy if there is quality and consistent participation by more than 20% of your membership in outreach to the community! If you are not reaching out, you have a big problem.
  • Your church is healthy if the training, mobilization, support, and sending out of missionaries here and overseas is occurring. Your church budget is the clue to what is important and what is not. If you are not sending and supporting people to do the Lord’s work, then what are you doing (Matt. 28:18-20)? 
  • Your church is healthy if your congregation is involved and there is participation in leadership. If people are not involved, you have a big problem.
  • Your church is healthy if there is healthy communication and contribution. Grievances are welcomed, discussed, and dealt with in a mutual loving and beneficial way. If there is not effective communication, or if there are hidden dealings (not to betray confidences), you are creating distrust between your people and your leadership, and you have a big problem.
  • Your church is healthy if there is an attitude of servant leadership and mutual respect. If you are not honoring, equipping, and encouraging one another by modeling Christ, you have a big problem (Prov. 27:17-18)!
  • Your church is healthy if it is a place where people, both visitors and members, feel welcomed. People can be facilitated to learn and grow where hospitality is extended, where there is no favoritism or prejudice, and where the Fruits of the Spirit are in operation. If your church is not bearing Fruit, you have a big problem.
  • Got love? Your church is healthy if you are loving, caring, and concerned for the members and the community. If you do not love, you have a big, big problem!
  • Your church is healthy if you are reaching out to the youth with good programming and quality discipleship. If the youth are not welcomed, then Christ is not welcomed!
  • Your church is healthy if people are going to services to worship Christ. You do not want to see people going to church only out of obligation, habit, or family pressures. We come together to learn of Christ, to honor Him, and allow Him into our lives. Allow Christ to intrude even where you do not want Him to. If your church is not Christ-centered and your leadership is not Christ-centered, you have a big problem. You are not a church; and to be more precise, you are just a club!

The number one reason people will stop going to any church is?

…conflict and gossip!

Healthy churches have a plan to recognize and then resolve conflict and sin. The best plans and calls of the Lord will stall out in the presence of conflict! If the rumors, conflicts, and lack of Fruit are not managed, the people will leave because all that is left is inhospitality. The people who stay will be the “problem people,” continuing to create factions, disunity, and strife. Healthy churches are on the lookout for people and leaders who have agendas and attitudes that are contrary to God’s Word. They are counseled, and if they will not stop, they are removed from fellowship until they repent. 

(Proverbs 4:23; 9:8; 10:12; 17:27-28; 26:20; Philippians 2:14; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 4:8; 3; James 1:2; John 9-12) 

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. James 3:5-6

The number two reason people stay a part of a church is?

 

…the teaching aptitude of the pastor to stimulate spiritual knowledge and growth!

The best growing churches in the world have solid, biblical preaching at their core. These churches preach the holiness of God, the blood of Jesus, how to worship, how to deal with sin, how to relate to one another, and how to love one another, and biblical precepts for knowledge and living, which the leaders are modeling! All of the preaching is done by and through the Word with power (His), conviction, passion (real sincerity and eagerness to live for Christ), clarity (taught in a way people understood), and in truth (uncompromised Word of God).

These churches do not dilute God’s truth or misrepresent the Gospel message. These churches lift up the cross! When there is no effective Bible teaching, the church will fail or become a showcase for an egomaniacal, charismatic personality who may motivate but does not instruct, and/or teaches false doctrine. When that person leaves the church (if it ever was a church), it will quickly die. Your church must be centered on the Person of Christ—not a personality!

 How can a young man keep his way pure?
       By living according to your word.

I seek you with all my heart;
       do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart
       that I might not sin against you.

Praise be to you, O LORD;
       teach me your decrees.

Psalm 119:9-12

(Jeremiah 33:6; Matthew 5:9; Romans 7:12; Galatians 3) 

The number one reason people come and bring other people to a church is?

 

…the love and Fruit that is real, felt, and displayed!

(This is why the Mormon Church grows, even with aberrant and cultic doctrine; people will look past that when they are loved. Imagine what would happen if we honestly loved and taught real, biblical, uncompromised truth—yet so few churches do that!)

People are motivated to bring other people when there is “real” hospitality and warmth in the Church—where they feel welcomed and a part of, connected, safe, and content, as well as stimulated to learn and grow. These church people are motivated by Christ and thus are learning and growing in Him, demonstrating they care for Him.

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5: 20