Your Church is Worth the Effort

April 22, 2020

By Sam Rainer

Your discouragement is understandable. A lot is happening in the world right now. Everyone is on edge. When will the pandemic pass? Perhaps your church is not doing well. Maybe you’re tired, or disheartened. Maybe you’re hurt. 

Don’t give up. Your church is worth the effort. 

Some churches reek of selfishness, but even the unpleasant bodies need someone to help clean out the noxiousness. If you don’t mind body odor, then you’re probably the one God is calling to scrub a few saints. Be strong. 

Don’t give up. Your church is worth the effort. 

Some churches fight. A lot. Hostile churches need someone to be the example. Show them how to fight for a church, not with a church. Be brave. 

Don’t give up. Your church is worth the effort. 

Some churches are the butt of everyone else’s jokes. They don’t have a clue, and people scoff. I don’t think Jesus has ever—or will ever—ridicule a church. Jesus has a great sense of humor. But the church is his bride. Every congregation deserves someone who will lovingly shepherd towards a greater purpose. Be resilient.

Don’t give up. Your church is worth the effort.

Some churches are immature. The body acts like a gangly middle schooler trying to impress the girls at skate night. The people go around in circles. Energies are poured into all the wrong things. If this is your church, then be the bigger spiritual person. Middle schoolers don’t mature without guidance. Churches don’t disciple properly without a mature shepherd. Be determined. 

Don’t give up. Your church is worth the effort. 

It’s hard, but worth it. Selflessness can be lonely. Your peers may wonder why you stick around. Your church may not get it. But you’re not alone. The Groom is with you—always. He’ll build your church to overcome the gates of hell. Don’t give up. Your church is worth the effort. 

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18 Comments

  • Rick Burcham says on

    Thanks for sharing. Beautiful, encouraging words.

  • Thanks for this. I needed the encouragement today. My church has a number of people who care more about their first amendments rights than the Gospel, and I see a war coming over whether we should just ignore the mandates and resume meeting. It has saddened me to see people more interested in what the Constitution says than what the Bible says and more concerned with their rights than with whether their neighbor has food. We do have people stepping up and being missional in the community, but I have been discouraged overall by the immaturity of so many. Thanks for the encouragement that it is not my church, but it Christ’s church, and I must fight for His reputation!

  • Great encouragement! Thank you!

  • Sam, thanks for an encouraging article. Timely. Actually very timely. I’m sure you could have continued with “Some churches are __________. I certainly don’t need to extend the list with airing more dirty laundry.

  • As a pastor, it was easier to postpone services when the instructions of the government were clear in their restrictions. I didn’t comply out of fear of a virus, I complied out of respect and my sense of civic responsibility and the overwhelming truth that the building does not define the church. I never felt my faith or my right to worship was threatened by any of it. But now, the choice is ours, I’m no longer concerned that the state police will show up or drive-in church attenders will be ticketed. What hinders us from flinging the doors open wide and going back to church as it was?
    So, what drives our decisions now? For me it is the same today as it was a month ago. I love the flock that God has placed in my care. I love them like my own children, and I would not put any of them in danger for a gathering.
    The church has been together in so many ways during this. We have Zoomed and Facebooked and texted and called more than we ever did before. I have had conversations with people that have been in our church for years and learned things about them I never knew. I don’t think we will ever go back to the way we communicated before. And for that, I am thankful.
    The church has continued to give at an unbelievable level, we saw an increase in giving, just amazing. They responded to the wisdom of the leadership that we sought God to give us. And now as I continue to answer solely to The Lord my God, I will seek the same wisdom to lead us back to the pews and the classrooms, thankful and full of praise that, to this point, none of them have been infected by a terrible virus.
    My right to worship has never been in the authority of any man and, if I lose all my rights in this world, I’ll do as Jesus my Savior did, I’ll surrender my rights and take up my cross.

  • I needed this word today, Thank you Sam.

  • John Newland says on

    So needed this today. The learning curve for new ways of ministry is so much over my head. The struggle to minister with effectiveness and excellence in these new circumstances feels so far out of reach. I want to pay attention to the metrics of online ministry, but it’s really difficult to make sense of it all. I’m trying to remind myself that Jesus calls me to faithfulness. He is the Master of the results, but I cannot help but think that I simply must do everything I can to get the gospel out, get encouragement out, and get discipleship out to our people and the community. I so desperately do not want to miss the opportunity that Jesus has placed before us. It is and it isn’t in our hands to be faithful stewards of the task we’ve been given as God’s shepherds. Resolving to pray. Resolving to trust. Resolving to work and rest at the same time. Thanks for the vent space.

  • One thing I was reminded of early on and thankfully get reminded frequently along the way. Just like other aspects of our ministry we aren’t called to do everything. Nor are we called to be perfect.

    We can try to do everything, but in my experience, when I do nothing goes as well as I’d like and things may be counterproductive. A wise person told me to do what I can and whatever I do, do that well (not perfect). Especially in this case, NOW is temporary, and how we take care of ourselves and our church NOW prepares us for what lies ahead.

    Yet, being product people it’s hard to hear. But that’s the truth of God’s service – let God do God’s part and focus on doing ours alone. Thank you for the reinder.

  • This is a very timely word for myself and all the many pastors who are shepherding their people right now. Thank you very much.

  • These are hard times and I have to say that pastors are feeling as lost as the congregation is feeling. I cannot be more proud of my pastor Jeff Sivyer for always working for his flock and making the best right decisions as we struggle through this and to help our community at large. We are blessed by his unfailing dedication and servants heart.

  • Thank you Sam for these encouraging words!

  • I needed to hear this today. Brain is shutting down through tiredness and strain.

    • Take heart Trevor, Jesus has overcome the world! I have been there. The church that I burned out in, is the same church I am still serving. Give yourself some grace, rest, and take a step back to remember you aren’t in control God is. There will always be another person to be minister to, there will always be another decision that has to be made, another fire to put out… take care of yourself and your family.

      As a whole, people will always expect more of you than you give, give little in return, and replace you when you are gone. So set your priorities straight: 1) Your relationship with God 2)Your relationship with your family 3)Your relationship with your church family

    • Praying for you right now, Trevor!

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