They read from the Book of the Law of God and clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, helping the people understand each passage. Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were interpreting for the people said to them, “Don’t mourn or weep on such a day as this! For today is a sacred day before the Lord your God.” For the people had all been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law. – Nehemiah 8:8-9
Is there a problem with the church today? If so, what might it be? My thought is that the problem, if there is one, falls within the dual categories of “speaking” and “listening.”
First, those who have the responsibility for biblical instruction within the church need to speak with clarity and their teaching needs to be rooted in a biblical text. Sounds simple doesn’t it? If so, then why aren’t more doing it? The Body desperately needs a word from God, but too often they receive an opinion from man. Second, the people of God need to actively listen to the message that is being delivered. This seems simple as well, but our entertainment-oriented culture is leading to a dumbing down of the Body. Our attention span is now limited to five-minute stories interrupted by three-minute commercials.
God certainly desires two things: 1) to speak through His servants, and 2) for His people to hear Him through those servants. We all have a responsibility in achieving success and, in my opinion, the fix still lies with us.
Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility. – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Dr. David Pope is President and Founder of POPE Initiatives, a non-profit organization committed to providing executive-level management and support services for major global mission efforts.
View all posts by Dr. David Pope