Many of our church members say that they have happy lives because they are satisfied with church. Visitors comment that our church members seem genuinely happy. Statements like these make me glad because my goal in ministry is to help our members be happy through church. I had such bad experiences in churches I attended as a lay-person that I committed myself to making my church members happy when I became a pastor.
Every Christian wants to enjoy their church. But sadly, it’s rare to meet Christians who truly feel this way. I also think that every pastor wants to make his church members happy. But it’s rare to meet pastors who are successful in this.
The reason that there are so many unhappy Christians is because neither pastors nor church members know how to make the church happy. Happiness cannot be obtained when it is a goal in itself. The reason many marriages end up in divorce is because couples make happiness the goal of their marriage. We have to understand that happiness is what we get as God’s reward when we obey His wishes and commands. When pastors and church members try to make it a goal to build a happy church, it will never happen. Happiness is only given when they strive to accomplish the mission God gave to His church.
Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission to go and make disciples of all the nations (Matt. 28:19-20). Happiness comes when this mission is being accomplished. All of our church members, leaders and members alike, have made it their goal to reach out to non-believers who do not know the Lord and help them become disciples of Christ. Because of this, God has granted us happiness as a reward. If we had directed energy toward things other than His Great Commission, we might be full of resentment and complaints instead of happiness now.
Through my house church ministry I have met many pastors. Few are happy with their ministries. I think I know the reason why; they are spending too much energy on things that may be important but are still secondary to the Great Commission.
If we want to remain happy as a congregation, we should hold fast to the Great Commission, and never allow anyone or anything to lead us astray from it.
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