3. It is not the church’s job to bring you to spiritual maturity.
Almost every Sunday afternoon my family and I would come home from church and have lunch together. My dad was always ask what we remembered from his message. Test time!!! Eek. I probably had a 50% rate of remembering something valuable. I know that is bad, but what strikes me about that is how much I would forget quickly. Is that because the messages were bad? Of course not. Was that because the church did a poor job of leading me closer to God? No way.
Part of the whole seeker movement was to allow a nonbeliever a chance to accept Jesus and gradually make them a fully devoted follower of Him. The church made this their job. I think this is partially wrong. Think about the pressure my dad would have felt if he had to take the congregation to spiritual maturity (whatever that is) every Sunday. God was merely using my dad and the church to bring about His message in that time and place.
I know some of you are thinking that the only job of the church is to bring its congregation to spiritual maturity, so I’ve really rattled you and you are confused. One big problem with this is that spiritual maturity isn’t objective…we can’t simply rate whether someone is spiritually mature or not. Even though I didn’t pay attention to my dad’s messages well enough when I was younger, God might have been doing something in my heart that was bigger than anything happening in the church or anything my dad was saying. Clearly during that time I didn’t take my relationship with Christ seriously enough-even now I probably don’t. Should I blame that on churches I’ve gone to?
Obviously the church plays a role as people continue to grow in their relationship with God, but it just isn’t fair to say that people going to church should rely on the church to bring them to spiritual maturity. That really comes down to a person’s decision based on their relationship with God.