Let’s not just play church! Part 1

My earlier post about “playing church” seemed somewhat vague to me and fearing that it may seem vague to my readers I have decided to spend the next several weeks clarifying what “playing church” means and how it can be avoided. In each post I will discuss one, sometimes two, issues that I believe fall under the heading of “playing church” and what can be done to resolve the issue at hand. Let me say first and foremost that I am NOT condemning anyone or judging anyone. What I am doing is relating what I have observed and/or experienced in my personal Christian walk over nearly four decades of being a “Christian”.  Indeed, I must admit that I, myself, have been guilty of all these issues at one time or another.

There are Christians who come to church with “dusty” Bibles. When I say “dusty” Bibles I am referring to the fact that their Bible has not been opened since the previous Sunday when they opened it to the passage that the pastor is preaching on that particular day. They come to church, often times skipping Sunday school or Discipleship training to merely attend the church service. One pastor related to me once that he acknowledges these folks as “the second shift.” They come to church and sit in their usual seat that they have been sitting in for several years or perhaps decades and basically say “feed me because I’m not going to get into the Bible and get it on my own.” They come to church and live saintly on Sunday and live like hell Monday through Saturday. Now that’s a strong statement but I know it to be true. Remember, I have been there myself and I admit that I was an ineffectual Christian or to the fact that my being a Christian made no difference to anyone else.

Heaven forbid that when this member arrives Sunday morning that they find a new visitor sitting in their seat that they have sat in for years, or perhaps, decades. Indignantly, they inform the visitor that he/she is sitting in the seat that has been their nest for years, or perhaps decades, and that he/she should find another seat.  Now, how likely is that visitor to return for another visit?

The thing about this Church member is that they are merely occupying space. They would rather “rust out” sitting on a pew or in a chair than “wear out” doing service for God through the local church. Remember, I’m not being judgmental I have been guilty of this myself so I think I have the room necessary to call it what it is. This member takes satisfaction in stating, “I am a member of “Such and Such” church when all they do is sit in a pew or a chair and do no service to the church or to anyone else for that matter.

That is merely one issue regarding what I mean when I refer to “playing church”.

We are not meant to “rust out” sitting on a pew or in a chair. It was intended that we search the Bible for ourselves to gain knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. We are to show love to those new visitors who have chosen to come to our church to visit. That new visitor may very well be under conviction of the Holy Spirit and is there to give their life to Christ. Certainly, I will give my seat, whatever seat I may be sitting in, to a visitor. I will serve in the church. I have helped park cars. I have greeted people coming through the doors. I have cleaned toilets in the rest rooms. I have cut grass. I have worked in the media department. I have made phone calls, and I have baptized dozens into the family of the church.

I say those things not to brag on what I have done, far from it. I brag on God for giving me those opportunities to serve Him, to assist in the opening and teaching of His Word. Ever hear the old saying that ten percent of the church does one hundred percent of the work in the church? Sadly, there is a lot of truth in that saying. Why is that so? It is because far too many, and remember I was once part of the demographic, who don’t read their Bible, who don’t pray, and merely come to church to “rust out” sitting in “their” seat week in and week out without contributing anything to the church.

Let’s NOT “play church”. Let’s DO church! God Bless!

In His Grip,

Lonnie Richardson

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