It’s good to remind ourselves, on occasion, what kind of people are sitting in “church services” – the gatherings of the local body of Jesus followers. In our culture where people who are seeking God or something from God still “go to church”, not all people assembled in a “church building” are expected to be followers nor are all followers at the same stage of spiritual health, fitness, and growth. We need to bear this in mind and adjust our expectations accordingly. That doesn’t mean that we adjust our worship or our doctrine…just how we view people.
- Some are seeking belonging and acceptance…but are not followers.
- Some are investigating faith in and knowledge of Jesus…but are not followers.
- Some are deconstructing false doctrines and false beliefs that they’ve been exposed to by family, education, and/or false teachers…they may or may not be followers.
- Some are learning and beginning to place their faith in Jesus…might be followers but maybe not yet.
- Some are growing in their knowledge of Jesus and The Word as they are taking baby steps of faith through the leadership of God’s Spirit…following Jesus.
- Some are exercising their faith and intimate knowledge of Jesus as they serve, share, give, grow and worship…following Jesus.
- Some are deepening the breadth of their understanding of The Way, The Word, and the character of God…following Jesus.
Not all voices represent God’s Word, God’s Will, or God’s Spirit equally. Not all know what they are talking about. Not all come from a clear God-centered perspective.
But all voices represent someone created in God’s image, deserving of the honor, dignity, and respect due to God’s image-bearers.