Church relationships significant, but few helping others grow
According to a recent LifeWay Research survey three out of four people who regularly attend church services state that they have significant relationships with people at church, but less than half of the respondents are intentionally involved in helping other believers grow in their faith.
The question, “I intentionally spend time with other believers in order to help them grow in their faith” was asked and only 42% of those surveyed answered in the affirmative. This is a very revealing survey of so called “Protestant” churches.
It seems that there is a resounding apathy towards the number one marching order of the church. The Great Commission has become for the most part The Great Omission. In order to “teach” disciples all that Christ taught it seems that one must be committed to helping fellow believers grow in their Christian faith.
Furthermore the New Testament is replete with admonitions, counsel, imperatives, and directives regarding the care and development of fellow believers. (Gal 6:1-2; Mk 9:50; Jn 13:14, 13:34, 15:12, 15:17; Ro 12:10;12:16 ;13:8 ;14:13 ;15:7,16;16:16, 1 Cor. 1:10 ,11:33 ,12:24-25 ,16:20; Gal. 5:13, 5:26, 6:2; Eph. 4:2 4:32, 5:19, 5:21 ; Col. 3:9, 3:13, 3:16 ; 1 Thess. 4:9, 4:18, 5:11, 13, 5:15; Heb. 3:13, 10:24-25, 13:1; Jam. 4:11 ,5:9 , 16; 1 Jn. 3:11, 3:23, 4:7, 4:11; 2 Jn. 1:5; 1 Pet. 1:22, 3:8, 4:8, 4:9, 5:14)
Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research stated, “The bible frames relationships among believers as a proactive investment in other Christians. In fact, Hebrews 10:24 refers to the need to exhibit concern for other Christians in ways that encourage love and good works.”
He also said, “Most attendees have friends at church, but only a minority invest time to help other believers develop their faith. It is as if churchgoers arrive to sit together as spectators for a game rather than arriving as player-coaches who work together and develop each other’s game.”
This seems to be a rather sad commentary on the average church. Thank God there are exceptions to the rule or discipleship would truly be extinct. A major prayer concern of mine is that the great commission would be restored to its rightful place in the local churches. Any legitimate activity that takes place in the local church is subservient to the making of disciples and the training of disciples in order to help them grow in their faith.