Series: Mistakes Churches Make The Lukewarm Church by Pastor CJ
No question the church is such a great place and has the greatest purpose known to man. But with that said, no church is perfect. Each and every church can and should be progressing to get better and better. And here at Southland we are striving to do just that. By addressing some mistakes that churches tend to fall into, we can begin to excel and increase our impact in new ways.
This week in our series, Mistakes Churches Make, Pastor CJ addresses the issue of being lukewarm. Jesus tackles this issue when he talks to the church in Laodicia in Revelation 3:14-22. He sees through their false sense of success and looks at the heart. We see that Jesus can't stomach his people being idle. The Christian life should never be boring according to Jesus.
It seems like they thought that they "made it" as a church which is one signal that leads to complacency. But we know that if we aren't dead, we surely aren't done. If we can spot a few things that lead to a "room temperature" kind of life, perhaps we can avoid this pitfall and live a life full of passion, fulfillment, and impact!
Here are four things that contribute to lukewarmness:
1. Their dependency
Their dependency shifted from a reliance on God to a reliance on self. This transition often happens slowly and unnoticeably. We can be susceptible to living as if we are God, placing ourselves in His position. Are you dependent on God or on yourself? What can you do to regain your dependence on God?
2. Their vision
Their vision began to veer off course, away from a God centered purpose. Our vision is to make God known in our community, not ourselves. If our vision is not centered on joining God in His purposes then our vision is not of God, and will leave us always wanting more. But when we align our vision with His vision, we will find fulfillment, joy, impact, and peace. Is your vision aligned with His vision for your community? In what ways can you realign yourself with his vision and purposes?
3. Their effort
Sometimes it comes down to sheer effort that is given to the promotion of God's kingdom. When we are lukewarm in our effort we aren't very effective or compelling to those outside looking in. Anything worth having is worth exerting a fair amount of effort to do so. In what areas have you lacked effort? How can you give a little more in these areas?
4. Their hospitality
The church in Laodicia arrived at a place where they were doing church without Jesus. They relied on their own abilities and talents that they "didn't need Jesus." They weren't welcoming to Jesus and therefore most likely wasn't welcoming to their community. Because if we aren't hospitable to Jesus we won't be hospitable to others. How can we make our lives more welcoming and inviting for Jesus to have his way? How can we be more hospitable to those in our community?
The bottom line is this: The church needs more thermostats and fewer thermometers. The church needs more people setting the temperature and less people simply reflecting it. We need to be example makers not example followers. We need to bring energy, passion, vision, effort, and hospitality not only into church Sunday mornings, but into various situations in our day to day lives.
Lets not fall into the same trap that this church did. Lets learn from their mistakes and improve and become better. We still may not be perfect but we can and will better!