There comes a point in everyone’s life when the question that needs to be asked is finally addressed. It’s the question of priorities. What really matters?
Once that question is honestly and objectively faced, things tend to improve. Bad habits are replaced with healthy habits. Attitudes begin to change. Relationships improve. Others begin to notice.
What is true of the individual is also true of the local church. What really matters? What are we doing to address what really matters? What could we do differently?
It matters that we understand our role in the world. We are the pillar and support of the truth (1 Timothy 3:15). Therefore, how we conduct ourselves within the church is important.
That verse is not meant to be nothing more than a general truth. It was the summary statement that looks back to the things previously written. Paul had been giving the preacher the guidelines for local church leadership. Who may serve as an elder? Those who meet the qualifications and have the spirit and character indicated in 1 Timothy 3:1-7. Who may serve as deacons? Same answer! Those whose spirit and proven character meet the requirements of 1 Timothy 3:8-13. These men, along with their godly partners and all godly women (3:11), have essential roles and responsibilities in the local church. Their supporting roles enable the church to meet its responsibility in the world of which it is a part. Until those who are in leadership realize that the ONLY thing that matters is that the local church be the pillar and support of the truth, the local body will always be weighed down by things that really don’t matter and unable to work toward the things that do.
It matters that we understand that the church grows through evangelism. God designed trees to grow by reaching deep into the soil to gather the nutrients needed for growth. God designed little babies to grow by desiring mother’s milk and then solid food. And God, the designer of all life, designed the church to grow by evangelism. Honestly, what objective person in the church could deny that? Are there any examples of New Testament congregations growing without evangelism? Are there any statements in the New Testament that favor growth by some means other than evangelism? If a good parent is one who is able to recognize their child should be growing and does something if their child doesn’t grow, what would good leadership do if the local church isn’t growing? Wouldn’t greater efforts at evangelism be the solution?
It matters that we teach the principles of church growth. We are to grow in every aspect of Christian life. Paul wrote the Colossians, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Colossians 1:9-10). This kind of maturation process can only come from sound preaching. Therefore, we need to realize it matters that those who preach and teach are studying the word (2 Timothy 2:15) and being instant in season and out (2 Timothy 4:2).
A sure indication that we’ve become ensnared by things that do not matter is that there is resistance to these three things. As we begin a new year, would you personally evaluate what matters in your Christian walk? Once you’ve done that and fully aware of how difficult that process was for you, would you be an encourager to others? Would you especially encourage the leadership so that we might truly be the pillar and support of truth in this city?
Keep studying. DC Brown ©2017