Thursday, January 12, 2017
Church Should be Geared Toward the Saved
“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Ephesians 4:11-12
The church is intended to be a place of teaching, fellowship, and worship for born-again, baptized believers. Many churches have instead become geared toward unbelievers. Some pastors will preach the plan of salvation every Sunday morning rather than getting into the deeper truths that saved Christians need to learn in order to grow. The purpose of church is to perfect the saints and edify the body of Christ. As a pastor and teacher, I’m supposed to teach and build up people who are already saved.
Years ago, I had a guy write a complaint about me on a visitor card and then bolt away after the service. He wrote about how he couldn’t believe that I didn’t even give the plan of salvation during my sermon and questioned whether I was even saved. This guy literally thought I should be giving the Gospel in every service, but what about feeding the flock?
“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Acts 20:28
You’ll hear people say that they’re leaving a church because they’re not being fed. They are right to come to church expecting to be fed spiritually because the Bible teaches that a pastor is supposed to feed the church.
I’m not going to gear my sermon toward a visitor that walks in who may or may not be saved. Instead, I’m going to finish my sermon and try to catch that guy afterward and give him the gospel. If I don’t do it, I’ll have someone else from our church talk to him.
As a pastor, I’m also supposed to “do the work of an evangelist,” which is what I’m doing when I knock on doors or preach a salvation message in a school. I go where the unsaved people are and try to reach them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. When I’m preaching in church, though, my role is that of pastor and teacher.
When I prepare a sermon, I’m not thinking about the unsaved visitors who might show up that day. I’m thinking about feeding the saved church members that make up most of the congregation. I’m thinking about the saints who come to church to be edified and perfected.
More souls will be saved in the long run when the flock is being properly fed. As people grow spiritually, they will do more soul winning in the highways and hedges. Not only that, but when they are properly trained, they will approach unsaved visitors at church and give them the gospel one-on-one, which is how we reach unsaved people who visit our church.
Here is a sermon on "Contemporary Churches" to go along with this article