Of God and of Churches

I changed my church 2 years ago because I was unhappy with the rut that the dear old pastor had got into. At over 70 years of age he still pursued an academic approach which put theology top of the list. Every sermon would be thoroughly researched, commentaries, Greek and Hebrew text etc. Visitors were overheard to remark that is was all “above their heads”, and the church is still having difficulty attracting newcomers.

I had been a member of this church since my teenage years – for over 40 years. I had held the office of treasurer, then secretary and deacon and had played the piano for almost all of those 40 years. I felt deeply that God had something for me to do somewhere else, as I had become so entrenched in “playing at churches” – my spiritual life was drained, so my vision was blurred.

I had an argument during one deacon’s meeting, accusing the pastor of being too stuck in his ways, of seeking human accolade by his much study to obtain an obscure doctorate out of some college in Mexico. The last straw was when he had some Christmas cards printed with his name proudly displayed Dr. and Mrs. Dennis W…….. Some members were offended to receive such a formal greeting from the pastor, and commented openly about the his elitist approach towards them. The dialogue ended acrimoniuosly and I resigned from the church. My wife and I have been attending an evangelical Baptist church this last two years and are getting to know many of the wonderful families who attend regularly. I am now on the church’s schedule to play piano, something I love to do for the Lord, and am hoping to learn how to play the 4-manual electronic organ.

God leads us onward, to pastures new, and we seek the greener grass, especially when it is watered constantly by His word. The focal point is God’s Word. The fellowship of the saints is precious, and to be enjoyed. Our new church has a younger pastor, with an anointed ministry for all age groups. My previous pastor continues to greet me in the street and I bear him no grudges now. Our new pastor has frequent meetings with all the evangelical ministers in the locality and is always encouraging new ways of getting out there with the gospel. Next week we have a special outreach for the children called a “Banana’s Club” – literally going bananas for Jesus. The church will be decked out like the inside of a Jumbo Jet, and the platform area will become a desert island full of banana trees. The children will plan the whole trip to the island, and meet interesting characters along their journey – “Mr. Rotten” and “Mr. Ripe” – you can guess the rest.

I wrote a song once, and introduced it to the folks – they sung it with gusto many years ago:

Light a Flame in my heart,
Let it burn from the start –
With a zeal and a passion for the lost,
Tell the world of His love,
How He came from heaven above –
Thinking nought of the cost – but His love,

Light a flame! – In my heart!,
Let it burn from the start with His Love.

The Holy Spirit truly burns within us – he convicts, convinces, and above all communicates. The Holy Spirit is given for this fundamental process – to communicate the Love of God.