From the Pastor’s Heart
Thom Rainer (President and CEO of Lifeway Christian Resources) recently wrote a book entitled, “I could, I might, I can, I should, I will!” The book focuses on 9 traits of the outwardly focused Christian life. It actually focuses on the attitudes that every church member should have. Too many churches today are inward focused. I come across this all of the time. The prevailing attitude in the church is ‘what can the church do for me’? Such an attitude, I believe, comes from the fact that we live in a very materialistic and entitlement society. It’s all about what pleases me and whether or not my needs are being met. Unfortunately, this will be the downfall of the church in America. Inward focused churches will not survive. If you did a study on all the growing churches in America today, you will find one thing that they all have in common: they are outward focused. Over the next several weeks as you read these articles, I’d like for you to prayerfully consider how you can become on outwardly focused Christian and how we can be an outwardly focused church.
The first trait that Thom Rainer points out of an outwardly focused Christian is one who says, “I will move from ‘I am’ to ‘I will’.” This has to do with our attitudes concerning our church. There are several right attitudes that we should have. (1) I am a unifying member. The Bible demands that we have an attitude of unity. It is vitally important that we endeavor to keep the unity of the church. Such unity requires: humility, gentleness, patience, and acceptance of one another in love. (2) I am a sacrificial member. Are you willing to give of your time, treasure, and talents for the work of the church? (3) I am a prayerful church member. How often do you pray for those you go to church with? Do you pray for your pastor? Do you pray for the church to grow and for souls to be saved? Prayer is the lifeblood of the church. Without it, we can do nothing. (4) I am a joyful church member. Don’t be a grumpy church member. Be a joyful church member. Come to church with a smile on your face and with the joy of the Lord in your heart. Avoid complaining and murmuring. Focus on the positive rather than on the negative. Your attitude determines who you are. Will you join me on this journey of moving from an ‘I am’ church member to an ‘I will’ church member?