That was the title of the article, and all four failed to hit the mark! Not one of them would have been what I would have listed out as things to look for in a local church!
In fact, all four were secondary things to look for — yes, even #1 . . . .
1. Is the Church Cross-minded?
This is a church that preaches and teaches first and foremost, Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
These were the four things listed in the article . . . .
1. Is the Church Cross-minded?
2. Is the Church Word-minded?
3. Is the Church Prayer-minded?
4. Is the Church Soul-minded?
No, nothing is more important than the Gospel, the all-sufficient substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus for sinners upon the cross of Calvary!
HOWEVER (as with all four), it is not merely that one preaches and teaches, first and foremost, that foundational truth, but that it is practiced, that it is lived out!
Mindedness is only one side of a coin, AND the coin is “counterfeit” if it lacks a life that mimics what it preaches and teaches. If you are looking at only one side of the coin — and it is the easiest side to “mint” — you will be misled in your “looking.” Hypocrisy kills everything it touches. The Lord made that point at the very beginning of “the church” in Acts 5.
“Mindedness” only speaks to what the church believes, not what the church actually lives out! What they really believe is what they live out, no matter what they preach and teach.
There is a big shuffle taking place in 2021 among many members and friends of local churches across America! That “shuffle” is not because . . . .
- the Gospel is not preached
- the Word of God is not central
- prayer is not taught
- the lost are disregarded
. . . but because of what IS preached and taught, but not walked!
It is articulated but not applied
It is catechized but not caught
It dressed up, but it does not “goes out.”
It is preached but not practiced.
The proof is so obvious to any who ask a simple question . . . .
“Did your pastor, your senior pastor, call you once during the past year of the pandemic?”
As I have of people from all different churches, ask that question, and the answer will astonish you!
No . . .I am not asking . . . .
- whether he called you about business or church demands.
- did one of the other pastors call?
- did one of the deacons call?
- did you get an email or text?
- whether you were one of the ingroup members who actually got a call.
Did the senior or lead pastor personally call over the approximate 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic?
The senior / lead pastor . . . .
you called to lead the ministry,
you listen to week after week,
who stands up front and preaches and teaches the congregation,
who most captures what your church is all about, and
who preaches and teaches that the church is a family
. . . is the one who bears the responsibility for connectivity!
Don’t shift the blame, for the shuffle which IS taking place, on the sheep!
You taught them — all too well — this past year.
“Mindedness” is not Ministry.
Your actions speak so loudly, they can’t hear what you say!
Your “mindedness” is drowned out by the practical.
A great shuffle is taking place,
and the cause is the shepherd’s heart,
not the sheep’s indifference.