Beyond Preaching and Praying

Mar 18, 2024

Churches have the potential to serve as more than platforms for preaching about sins and the gospel. They can be powerful conduits for pastors to engage with their communities, extending their outreach beyond the traditional teachings. This broader approach not only enriches the lives of congregants but also has the potential to attract new faces to the pews.

In countries with Christian roots, you might find numerous churches within a short drive. However, the reality is that most of them operate at around 40% capacity on Sundays, at best. Additionally, it’s often challenging to spot younger generations among the attendees, highlighting the need for churches to adapt and appeal to millennials.

While spiritual connection is undeniably essential, it’s not the only factor at play. The church can serve as a support system for people navigating life’s challenges. Rather than relying solely on biblical verses, the church could serve as a sanctuary for those grappling with their personal struggles, helping them evolve on their journey.

Transforming the narrative from constant reminders of sinfulness and hellfire to an environment of growth and empowerment could be transformative. Instead of viewing congregants as mere sinners, churches can help individuals identify their problems and grow spiritually. God’s intent is not for us to languish in misery but to thrive—physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Churches have the unique opportunity to help individuals become strong, wise, and resilient—spiritual soldiers ready to face life’s trials. This means equipping congregants with practical tools to handle adversity, engage in debates, and stand up against injustice. Just as soldiers require training, Christians can benefit from guidance on navigating the challenges of life while upholding their faith.

The concept of “teaching a man to fish” comes to the forefront. Rather than merely providing spiritual guidance, the church can empower individuals to navigate life’s complexities independently. This approach fosters a sense of self-reliance and self-assuredness while promoting kindness and compassion.

Embracing diversity and new ideas can be a stumbling block for some churches. This reluctance to allow different viewpoints to flourish might hinder their potential for growth. By creating an environment that encourages open dialogue and diverse perspectives, churches can extend their reach and enrich their congregation’s experiences.

From the believers that I’ve encountered, there seems to be a misconception in prayer. Many have learned to pray to God for things, assuming that they don’t need to take any action themselves. However, the act of asking is not an excuse to be passive. God’s guidance is often to be sought while actively working towards our goals.

Instead of merely asking for future assistance, we can learn to pray in the present tense. For example: “God, I am becoming happier and healthier each day.” This shift aligns our intentions with the present moment and acknowledges our own responsibility in the process. Additionally, when we seek help from God, it’s essential to recognize that the assistance might come through the guidance of others.

In a similar vein, churches could extend their reach by providing teachings on raising one’s consciousness, fostering better health, and cultivating wisdom. These practical skills can enhance congregants’ lives and create a positive impact on their communities.

Lastly, the distinction between being good and acting good is profound. True goodness involves more than surface-level words; it requires action. Supporting someone in their struggles, offering a helping hand, and providing genuine assistance hold far more weight than empty praise. While kind words are uplifting, embodying goodness through our actions is what truly brings positive change.

In conclusion, churches possess the potential to play an even more transformative role in society. By embracing a multifaceted approach that extends beyond traditional teachings, they can serve as platforms for empowerment, growth, and community enrichment. Encouraging active participation, fostering resilience, and guiding individuals towards positive change can help fulfill the church’s mission in today’s complex world.

Church and the Bible are great tools to unite people and provide a means to reach out to individuals beyond gospel. The focus of church sometimes seems to be labeling attendees as ‘sinners’ and blaming them for being sinners, which may make people feel guilty and potentially deter them from wanting to attend church. Christianity is a great tool to bring more people closer to church.

Our world is full of problems; individuals live lives filled with problems regardless of their status or circumstances. Churches can be great problem solvers, offering more than just preaching and the Bible. In general, church sometimes emphasizes the more superficial aspects of Christianity. Merely memorizing the Bible and attending church on Sundays for an hour or two is not the be-all and end-all.

At the same time, believers may think that being a good believer means acting good, smiling, and being overly nice, equating these actions with being good Christians. However, that’s just the foundation. Ecclesiastes 3:8 states, ‘There is a time for everything: a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.’ Christianity is only a tool for the spiritual world; individuals’ free will and physical side also need to be well understood.

Being good shouldn’t just be an act. Maintaining a neutral attitude about things can be a great tool. It’s our duty to stand up for ourselves and defend our kingdom. Bullies behave the way they do because no one has corrected their behavior. As believers, we have a responsibility to be kind to those who are weaker than us and stand tall against those who seek to harm or destroy our kingdoms.

Be good when goodness is required, be strong when strength is necessary, be silent when wisdom falls on deaf ears, be wise when you have the opportunity to be heard, and be a problem solver when called upon to address an issue. Strive to be wealthy, rich, and wise. We need every tool at our disposal to combat evil. Churches can serve as great institutions offering more than just preaching and the gospel.

The basis and best way to start is to create a food discipline, as the Bible says in Corinthians 6:19-20: ‘Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.’
To establish a foundation of discipline, we can control what we eat, thereby creating a strong body and mind. A strong believer needs a strong mind, and a strong mind requires a strong body to live in. A strong body necessitates good food and resistance training (Gym/fitness).

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Milad Emjay

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