“Dear Pastor Terry,” the email began, “I have not attended church since I was a teenager, and that’s been twenty years ago. I have felt like I have been drifting through life and needed direction. For some reason I felt drawn to enter your church. The scriptures that were read and explained were an ‘aha’ moment for me. I look forward to coming back next week.”
I received this email earlier this week, but over the years have received many others that offered a similar message. People often drop out of church when they are in their teen years. Many will never return, but some do. The ones that do return are seeking something real that can give direction to their lives. In my experience they are seldom interested in being spoon fed thin theological porridge. They have lived enough to know they need something real.
By God’s grace we have something real to offer. As the Word of God is spoken, hearts are transformed by the power of the Spirit. Sadly, the people who send me messages like this often say the reason they dropped out of church to begin with was that they did not hear much at church that was relevant to their lives. I believe the Word of God has always been and will always be relevant to life. That means that if church was not relevant in the past, or is not relevant in the present, then the Word must not have been spoken very clearly.
I want to encourage everyone in church leadership and who has teaching responsibilities in church to make sure they focus on teaching the Word and not human opinion. The Word changes lives; human opinion simply can’t do that. I join the apostle Paul in saying “Preach the Word, in season and out of season!”