Currently I am preaching through the book of 1 Timothy on Sunday mornings and evenings. We are down to 6:3-5 which describe the danger of false doctrine.
There are many characteristics of false doctrine, but one of the clearest is this……
Church is all about you
By this I mean the church service is about your needs. Or as Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones puts it, “the service is controlled by the pew.” Many of the more popular and large churches focus on giving people what they want.
- The music is make them feel good
- The message emphasizes practical application instead of teaching (four ways to have a love-filled family)
- Messages center on funny stories or illustrations without much Scripture
- The goal is crowds instead of spiritual maturity
- And people always feel better about themselves when they leave
Compare that to a Bible-centered church
- Where the music focuses attention on God instead of themselves
- The message emphasizes explanation of Scripture
- It is centered on what Gods word says instead of what you think
- The goal is maturity instead of growth
- And people always leave with a better understanding of God
Not surprisingly the second church usually ends up having much smaller crowds. That’s okay though, because church isn’t about you.
It’s about the worship of God
I was thinking about this as we put some wood finish on the stage at church last Monday. That stage is actually incredibly simple and basic: just a pulpit, a piano, and some chairs. But that simplicity leaves no doubt about what the service is really about.
The church isn’t meant to fill my spiritual cup. It is meant to take my eyes off of my problems or needs, and fix them firmly on my heavenly father. It is a moment to slow down, take a breath, and remember the beauty of the Gospel. Church is an oasis in the desert of selfishness, and constant activity. It encourages us to stop doing, and like Mary just sit at the feet of Jesus.
Churches that focus on God instead of people won’t normally be the largest, but that’s okay. Because a small band of Believers with their eyes focused on the Savior is far better than a massive crowd with their eyes on themselves,