This thought was inspired by a conversation that I had with someone recently. Basically in a summary of the conversation, this person was being turned away from the church due to the hypocrisy of the members of the church.
First thing: Do not be naïve or mistaken the devil goes to church as well; for the purpose of discouraging us from going to church. We have to make a decision in ourselves that we are not going to church to please man but we are going to temple to receive deliverance and salvation from God.
Second thing: sometimes it actually is the ministry that turns people away. Some churches lose their fire and it starts with the leadership of the church. To many times we see Pastors become full of themselves and God removes the anointing from that ministry, and the Pastors become stale. I heard Pastor Charles Jenkins say it this way "we try and keep a lot of ministries on life support that has be declared dead by heaven."
Here are a few things that I have been taught to look at to make sure that I am connected to an alive church:
• Make sure you are being fed the Word (What you being taught should always line up accordingly with what is in the bible)
• Is the church productive? Look at things such as the outreach that is being done in the church; what our they during in their community; improvements to the church itself; is the congregation growing, is the church operating in the spirit of excellence.
• Look at the leadership of the church. We are to support the vision of the church. First thing is the vision that the Pastor has should line up with the Word of God. God will not give the Pastor a vision that contradicts His word. Secondly, do you agree with the vision. If we join a ministry we are submitting ourselves to that leader. If we do not accept and support the vision of the church we become one of the ones that are going to cause strife to enter the church.
• The anointing have to rest in the church. The power of praise, worship, healing and deliverance should rest in the house.
• Are you growing? As you attend the church you should be growing as an individual. Are you becoming a better person (character, conduct, & integrity); becoming stronger in faith; are you being convicted or just receiving a "feel good" message all the time
Bottom line; we cannot let anything detour us from chasing after God. There have always been hypocrites in the church and there will continue be. That is not our focus. Our focus is our relationship with God.
Be blessed and as always BE ENCOURAGED!!