Read the blog-podcast below or listen to the podcast here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1979312/10614819-episode-1-word-of-worth.mp3?download=true
The Book THE COVID-19 TEST. CHURCH OR GOD? RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP
► Discusses the impact of the ban on corporate worship on Believers. ► Details how we often unknowingly choose idols that pose as good things over God who is superior. ► Makes an appeal to followers of Jesus Christ, to put God first. ► Makes an urgent call to love God with all our heart, soul, and might, to even love Him (the Person Jesus Christ) more than good things such as ministry.
Questions we must consider:
How did the COVID-19 lockdown affect Believers? What does the impact of the lockdown say about where we place church and where we place God in our lives?
How did churchgoers emerge from the lockdown — God-deficient or more spiritually connected?
Why would the effect of the lockdown on any Believer differ from another Believer?
Four groups of people go to church. What kind of churchgoer are you?
Church Lifers are deeply involved in church life or church ministries that mainly define their faith walk.
Relationals are involved with church ministries and have a balanced life including a dynamic and thriving personal relationship with the Lord that is marked by a disciplined and delightful prayer, Word study, and worship life.
Supplanters replace personal spiritual enrichment activities such as a disciplined prayer, Word study, and worship life with weekly church services.
Minimals attend church intermittently, are marginally involved with church ministries, and do not engage in spiritually enriching activities outside of church.
I align the four groups of churchgoers with 5 of the early churches in Asia Minor to which Jesus wrote letter thru Apostle John. Refer to Revelation 2 – 3. The seven churches are: 1. Ephesus 2. Smyrna 3. Pergamum 4. Thyatira 5. Sardis 6. Philadelphia 7. Laodecia
The indictment and commendation given by Jesus to the five churches are as follows:
1. Ephesus: Despite their hard work and perseverance, they had lost their initial enthusiasm and love of Jesus. 2. Thyatira: Did good work, did great ministry works, but entertained false teaching. The did great impressive work but lacked spiritual power. 3. Sardis: Were strong in the Word, in spiritual things but lack good works. weak on ministry activities. They failed to put that truth of the Word to work for the benefit of others. 4. Philadelphia: Strong in evangelism, faithful, served the people and shared the message of Jesus. They received no condemnation from Jesus.
5. Laodicea: Jesus told them they were lukewarm. Jesus said He will spew/vomit the lukewarm out of His mouth. They received no commendation from Jesus.
The early churches and today's church goers.hurch
Commonality Between the Early Church and Today’s Church
Unanswered Questions ► Which one are we wedded to, church or God? ► What or who are we really worshipping, the Person or the thing?
► Which one are we wedded to, church or God? ► What or who are we really worshipping, the Person or the thing?
► What is that thing we are worshipping? ► Why would not being able to go inside a building for church services result in any
► Believer stop attending church when the doors reopened?
► Why would any Believer decline spiritually while the doors of the church were closed due to a pandemic?
► Why is it that in the aftermath of the ban on corporate worship due to COVID-19 many pastors, especially of small churches, claim they will have to re-build because their membership has gone down?
► Why are many saying there are members of their church that have become blatantly non-responsive or that they are nowhere to be found? These people have fallen off the church wagon. ► Why has this happened?
► Why would the effect of the lockdown on any Believer differ from another Believer?
Quick answers to the questions.
Church Lifers: Church Lifers find the church building comforting and edifying. They find inspiration and wisdom there. They can be spiritual in the church building but are less effective outside the building. Church Lifers are at high risk of declining spiritually during the shutdown because they are not in the environment in which they tend to thrive most.
Relationals: Because Relationals already have an appetite for God and are already in pursuit of Him, they will most likely draw even nearer to God during the shutdown. They will see this as an opportunity to spend more time in personal spiritual development activities.
Supplanters: Because the only source of spiritual nourishment for Supplanters is what they get when they sit in the pews in church, the inability to attend church services will likely result in spiritual decline. In addition, because they have not developed personal spiritual disciplines such as private prayer, reading the Word, and fasting being, they probably declined spiritually.
Minimals: A person who is hardly engaged in a local congregation and does not participate in spiritually enriching activities outside of church will not be fervent for God. This describes the Minimals. Without this connection to God, a complete shut down from the only source they were getting sporadic spiritual feeding likely resulted in further spiritual decline