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People can see a miracle and still not trust us. A move of God can take place and some people still do not become followers of Christ. It happened with Jesus and it will happen with us. But, one thing that we can do to insure that those who can come will come, and those who can join our team will, is that we develop trust with them. We need to be human beings, not spiritual beings. It was the non-Christian gnostic sects that focused endlessly on spiritual encounters. For us, we focus on Christ. Christ was truly God and truly human. Therefore, we must focus on what it means to be human and love other people well, even in our services.  

If every single service is wild or disordered, then the people in the community cannot develop trust with us. They know that their lives are too valuable to entrust to the whims of the next disordered day. However, if we are about Christ and the centrality of the Gospel and the love of God, and we live that out in an ordered way, then we give people the opportunity to trust us and our God. Order and planning and preparation are not antithetical to the ‘work of the Holy Spirit.’ Let’s remember that our God planned this creation. He has a plan for our lives as well. Moreover, let’t not forget that the worship of heaven is planed and ordered (See the book of Revelation). Planning and preparation go hand in hand with the God who brings order. Moreover, it can bring about trust.  

Each service that we plan, prepare for, and honor God with, we show a dimension of sacred time that heaven will be encompassed with. Historically, Christian worship has been a place of ordered events that direct our attention to Christ. Today, different Pastors and Priests choose different service lengths for their congregations. However, the point is the same, namely that we have participated in the works that we call worship. Order is still the underlying reality.

One of the reasons for order and preparation is that when people attend church, expectation is something that matters. Can someone trust us with their time? Can someone trust us that we are not going to take them on a bad roller coaster ride? Can someone trust us that we are going to be about loving people and speaking the truth from the Bible?  Our job as Pastors and Leaders is to guide people into the truth. That truth then becomes the pivot for transformation.

We have a great opportunity ahead of us, but we can blow it if we give all of our visitors enough reason not to trust us. You might wonder what the Bible has to say about being aware of the visitors that join our ranks. Paul himself if quite concerned about this. In fact, it is partially the reason he instructs the Corinthian women to keep wearing head coverings. If outsiders would have come to the Corinthian Church and witnessed a bunch of women without their cover, they would have reacted poorly thinking that this group of women was like a group of prostitutes. Paul wants his congregations to make an impact on the society they are in. Therefore, they must tailor their practices, at least to an extent.

I write remembering young Timothy and his charge to protect the church under his care (see 1 Timothy). 

Pastor Isaac

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