This takes me back to conversations with a dear brother at church some years ago. His great encouragement was to enjoy church. For all of us there is the tendency to focus on the negatives about church. This can be a particular inclination for church leaders who can have a tendency to concentrate on how certain people are not there, things are not running as they should be and endless other things. So much seems to be lacking in so many areas. And very soon we are playing into the hands of the devil. We are overcome with negativity and any sense of having a worshipful spirit is lost.
Amidst all this the encouragement of the aforementioned dear brother was to “enjoy church”. There may be concerns about people, things may not be operating the way you want or even the way they should, but there is so much to enjoy. The privilege of being together with God’s people, the wonder that I am saved and can approach the living God who has loved me with Calvary love, the privilege of being able to hear God’s Word read and preached. All of these things should set me in a determined frame to enjoy church. Moreover there are like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ who share these things with me and we can share our lives together so as to be mutually benefited. Oh how I should cultivate an enjoyment of church.
This does not take away from the fact that there are real issues to face and necessary matters to be confronted. But amidst this I should never forget to “enjoy church”.
And if you are in church leadership and demonstrably showing that you are not enjoying church then it is most unlikely others will be enjoying church.
(Originally published at Venabling on 22nd May 2014).