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The assembling of the Church should be a place where people seek God in faith, prayer, and expectation. There ought to be an awe and a reverence of coming together corporately into God’s presence. The Scripture tells us that even sinners should be convicted by the presence of God in our midst.

“But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an uninformed person comes in, he is convinced by all, he is convicted by all. And thus the secrets of his heart are revealed; and so, falling down on his face, he will worship God and report that God is truly among you” (1 Cor. 14:24-25).

The apostle Paul lays out instructions for maximizing the power and presence of God in our gatherings. If things are arranged according to the Spirit’s order and plan, He will be present and manifest, and people will be drawn to Jesus. Conversely, nowadays, church leaders study demographics and people’s preferences in order to make the assembling of the church more appealing to them.

When we try to make church appealing and pleasing to man, it actually detracts from the presence of God and His plan and purpose. Conversely, when we organize our church agenda and gatherings toward pleasing God and according to the order of the Spirit, it is then that men will be drawn to Jesus.

Here is a simple equation for this:

Please God = Draw people Please people = Detract from God


Building the church to cater to people’s preferences does not draw the presence of God. God knows what people need far more than we do. Following His plan and purpose is what manifests His presence and power. The greatest meetings are those where we follow the leading and direction of the Spirit of God. Years ago, there was a far-greater emphasis on making the church assembly appealing to God. There was a greater reverence for God and a caution not to grieve the Holy Spirit or quench what He wanted to do and how He wanted to move.

Today it appears we are so busy curtailing the church experience to accommodate what we feel people want or what we think they will respond to. So much care and thought go into not offending the people, but so little consideration goes into not offending God. We tone down the Scriptures on sin and God’s demands for true discipleship. We arrange the music around what makes people feel good and happy, loved and accepted.

We program our services so as to not go past a certain time.

The standard that determined early Church policy was pretty clear.

“If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen” (1 Pet. 4:11).

We do demographic studies and research people's preferences to make people feel comfortable and loved in church, cause them to return, and to know we are relevant. But God’s wisdom is much higher and so much more effective.

What if God doesn’t want them to feel comfortable? What if feeling comfortable is the root of their problems? Perhaps if people were allowed to feel uncomfortable, they would seek God for His comfort.

Instead of trying to show them that we care, what if knowing God cares is the only thing that can change them and set them free? And shouldn’t they return to church because they’ve had an encounter with God? And is relevance really that important when sin and spiritual blindness are the sinner’s main problem?

The more we try to build God’s house with our own efforts and in our own wisdom, the more we will labor in vain because we will attract people only to us and our programs. But if we let the Holy Spirit build the house, He will actually attract people to Jesus.

This recent Facebook post from a pastor friend says it all:

“There must be an abandoning by our preachers and churches from what someone called the ‘machinery of ministry.’ The status-quo, hold-down-the-fort type of thinking is killing the Church. We are sorely in need of a return to a supernatural Church comprised of spiritual initiatives and radical faith. We need to slay this manmade ministry that has been born out of cultural and social compromise.

“I believe we are headed for a time of ‘pastoral clarity,’ in which leaders are going to experience epiphanies of just who they are and who they are not. Pastors will quit trying to be all things to all people and instead will embrace being that ‘one’ thing to those called under their leadership. A radical move of God will be preceded by radical change, and I believe we are closer to that shift than ever before.”

I say a hearty “Amen” to that.

NOTE: These books are forerunners to the coming glory still ahead. I wrote all five of them under a fresh anointing in one year after coming out of a sickbed. Please post a review on Amazon if you’ve read any of them and it was a blessing to you.

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