Where the Spririt of the Lord is, there is liberty 2 Corinthians 3:17. Do you have liberty where you are? I walked off the stage one Wed. night leading worship at a former church we attended for quit some time and my singers were upset over something that occured during worship. At the church we were at we were encouraged to let the Spirit flow and it was one that flowed widely in tongues and interpretation. We all felt the Holy Spirit strongly and one of the singers felt she had a word from God or that somebody did anyway. I really felt that someone did too. In the middle of the song the pastor got up while the whole congregation was lifting their hands and worshipping God in a deep worship and started shouting and told everyone to sit down and said it was time to take up the offering. This happened more than once… actually quit a bit the last few years. It was confusing to us all the first few times it happened and then it just became frustrating and irritating.
I have always been one to submit to authority, but when you advertise your church as being one way and all the people who have attended there for several years know that it really used to be that way, it’s very odd when things suddenly start shifting in a new or different direction without any form of communication. If a church wants to change its style then whatever… but in that case the church should hold some sort of meeting or send out a memo of sorts to let the people know so the people have a chance to decide if this is the place they want to continue to worship or if it’s time to move on. The people also need the chance to pray about it and see if they feel something isn’t right with this. Why would a church with the same pastors, same leadership, same congregation all of a sudden begin to change the way they worship? It doesn’t make since.
Without some sort of communication to this regard one would begin to believe that there is a control issue within the pastoral staff that needs to be evaluated. When there is a church where pastors don’t have to “answer” to anybody or be held accountable to anybody, they tend to get a puffed up attitude… “what I say goes”. In fact, years ago I remember the Sr. pastor saying that he and his wife started that church, they owned it, and if you didn’t like what was going on you could leave. At the time, I was a teenager and thought that statement was pretty funny. Now, being an adult, I realize that there was nobody to hold them accountable and that attitude shows a disregard for feelings and lack of love for the people in the church. Obvisously, I do believe that if you are unhappy with a church you should move on or check your own heart, however, different circumstances require a different level of compassion. The pastor we have now would tell you, if you don’t like our style of worship or the fact that we are a mission minded church, we can help you find a church that will fit the needs of you and your family. This is gentle and kind. His heart is to help and guide those who aren’t even in his own “flock”.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty! It’s time you figure out whether you are free to worship the Lord and live your life in Him and think for yourself, or if you are being controlled and confused. If you are looking for a church, watch out for these signs. Also, is the Spirit of God allowed to move in your church? I realize some churches like ours have several services and try to keep things rolling with constency and in a timely manner. But, do you feel the Spirit of God in your church either through the love of the people or during Praise and Worship or through the pastor’s message no matter how much time you have? Are your pastors and staff consistant in the way they treat people and run the service? Do you have freedom to serve as you feel called to serve? OR… Is your church trying desperately to get people to like them? Are they inconsistant with their beliefs? Are you finding them gossiping about the people in the church or putting them down behind closed doors? Are people leaving more bound up by the devil than they were before they started attending? Do they get mad when people leave or step down from certain positions to do other things?
Bottom line; Is your church filled with the love of Jesus?? Where the Spirit of the Lord is… there is liberty!