I usually write about my personal experiences, but this post deviates from that a little bit. Most of the time when I write a post, I try to leave it to open interpretation, however; I think that it would be best to let this post be as concise as it can be. By now you are probably wondering what this post is about, so in a nutshell this post is about a Spiritless church. I want to encourage you to read my blog post “It’s Complicated” before you continue to read this post; it will give some background from where I’m going from and offer more clarity. Keep in mind that when I talk about the church in this post, I’m talking about the physical church and not about the people being the church.
So let’s begin. The first topic of examination is what a spiritless church looks and feels like. Keep in mind that this might be different, but there is always a shared similarity.
- Going to church is an obligation, and not a privilege. This is a big one for me. A few years ago I was forced to leave my home church and go to another one because that’s what my mother wanted. Well, at some point I came to enjoy the new church, but that joy didn’t last long. Once I had the freedom to go where I pleased and was no longer obligated to go where my mother wanted me to, I was obligated to go because I was volunteering as the communications/tech director. So when the opportunity came for me to give up my position and go to another church, I took it.
- There’s no crazy praise, and you can barely pray. No one is shouting or raising their hands on a regular basis. Being Pentecostal I believe this to be a standard in a church, especially in a Assemblies of God church. Don’t get me wrong, it might not happen every Sunday, but when it only happens once every blue moon there’s a major problem. Also, when you feel like breaking out and just praising Jesus whether through dancing, lifting your hands, speaking in your prayer language, or all these at the same time; you feel like you might get in trouble. Lastly, when you get to a point to where you can barely say a simple prayer, you’re in spiritless church.
- You feel like an outcast. I’ll be honest, in my previous church I sometimes felt like an outcast. I wanted more from church which I wasn’t getting, so often times I would try to give more in order to receive more. To clarify on that statement, in my home church (where I grew up) there was always something for me to do, always an event to attend, and always a freedom to praise.
The next question is: why a church is spiritless? I will just list these (in no particular order) because I don’t think there is a need to explain in detail. Interpret as you wish or take it as is.
- Everyone’s ego is showing.
- It’s a country/social club.
- No unity in the people.
- It’s all about satisfying the people inside, and not trying to give salvation to the lost.
- No outreach efforts.
- Change is of the devil.
So what can we do to fix it? Unfortunately in previous church, I was like the only person driven to change it. Other people wanted to change the church from spiritless to spirit-filled, but they just didn’t have to drive to do something about it. Which caused me to leave that church because I had fix my spirit first combined with the fact that the church overall was very mediocre, and I despise mediocrity. Here’s five ways I see that can be used to fix a spiritless church:
- Let the Spirit use you.
- Don’t be afraid to give God a crazy praise.
- Find someone who wants to praise God.
- Let God guide you; don’t do it to show off.
- Always say “yes” to God.
I want to forewarn you. When taking a church from spiritless to spirit-filled, someone is going to get offended. My advice to you is not to pay attention to the people who get offended by change because if they are offended by change, they aren’t there for God. I also want to charge you to do what I couldn’t do; take your spiritless church to a spirit-filled church.