IS GOING TO CHURCH THE ANSWER TO PEOPLE'S PROBLEMS?
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I have heard people say, "So and so has these problems but he or she started going to church." Hmmm? What do you think about that statement? My answer to that is, "It depends upon the type of church."
Some churches have very practical Bible teaching and ministries specifically designed to offer support and recovery from whatever problem a person might be facing, along with a very compassionate congregation that has a mindset to help the hurting and needy. This kind of church would be of great help to someone, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Other chuches have nothing more than a service where people come and leave with a minimum of interaction or conversation, sometimes limited to "Hi, How are you? I'm fine." In this kind of church people will likely leave with the same issues with which they came.
No matter which type of church, can the worship service itself help people with their problems? Maybe, and maybe not. If the person is not even a Christian why would he or she want to worship God in the first place? Then again, if the pastor gives a message with a Gospel invitation at the end and someone accepts Christ as their Lord and Savior, hallelujah! Maybe something was said during the message that really connected with a worshipper. How was the pastor or speaker? Interesting to listen to or dull?
Some pastors are great speakers with great practical Bible teaching, who have no trouble holding someone's attention. Other pastors are, frankly, boring and monotone. Now I ask you, "Who out there wants to listen to a boring speaker once a week, let alone get help for their problems?" No matter how good the biblical content may be, if the congregation is bored and has to really try to pay attention, what is the point? Just because they are "called" to be a pastor does not mean they are a good public speaker. Most people can't even remember the sermon topic and main points from the previous week.
With all of this said, which type of church would you want to attend, or would you invite someone else, to help them with their problems? What many people need is not church; they need caring individuals with support and recovery groups. That may happen in the context of a church, but it may not.
Going to church, singing hymns or choruses, and listening to all of the religious jargon, is questionable when it comes to helping a person with anger, or depression, or an abusive relationship.
No matter what type of church, or whether it is traditional or contemporary, the bottom line is it must have good, relevant Bible teaching delivered in a way that will hold people's attention, and there must be a compassionate and caring attitude within the church as a whole.
Ask yourself this question, "Whatever church you are attending, are you growing or just going?" If the church is not helping you grow as a Christian then why would you expect it to help someone else with their problems?
How many people can testify that they were delivered from an addiction, or anger, or depression, or whatever, as a direct result of a local church? With many churches the answer is none. If people want and need help they won't get it at a lot of local churches.
What they need is a personal relationship with Christ, not religion or church, and loving people and ministries that will help them overcome their problems. If a particular church helps do that, then great. If not it still can be a great place of worship for Christians, but don't rely on it to fix your problems.
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