By Roger Sbouse
The final article in this series of “Christianity in the 80’s” deals with a situation that happens all too frequently today. This is a general lack of communication. This can be seen in many different settings.
(1) Between Christians and God. A lack of communication here can be the difference from being a strong, vital saint that is refreshing to the world and a backward saint that doesn’t know which end is up. We must remember that we have been told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). There is never a time, nor a situation in which prayer does not fit.
(2) Between the Church and the Eldership. The elders are to lead (Heb. 13:17) and the flock is to follow. This necessitates good communication between the two for a proper working relationship. Far too many brethren take off without telling the overseers where they are going and when they are to be back. If you haven’t noticed, it is kind of hard to oversee somebody if you don’t know where he is. Each member owes this to the spiritual leaders. Members need to let the elders know if they are having difficulty grasping the Bible class material or if they are struggling with temptation or if the preacher is over their heads. Only in knowing these things can the eldership make adjustments to help them spiritually. Elders have also been guilty of poor communication with the flock. Members go to the elders with suggestions or complaints and are told that the elders will look into the matter. But nothing is ever said again. This drives members batty. Common decency demands that they at least respond “Yes” or “No.” A period of unresponded ideas will turn members’ creativity off. It will make them say, “Why even bother, they won’t do anything.” Such stirs the fires of insurrection among the flock. And this need not be if folks would only talk with one another as they ought to.
(3) Between the Preacher and the Congregation. Paul told Timothy to be “instant in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2). Timothy was to deal with subjects that were pertinent and relevant to the situation there. Far too many preachers talk about items that have little or no bearing upon the folks in that locale. We need lessons that can build up our lives and help us get to heaven. The church can help by suggesting ideas or letting the preacher know of areas that they especially would like some help in.
(4) Between Member and Member. Often one hears sorrowful tunes such as, “I didn’t know that he was in the hospital.” Or, “I didn’t know about that class.” Either folks are not communicating very well or people are not listening or a little of both is going on. Announcements and bulletin boards are things that should draw your attention each week. Get to know one another outside the building by calling each other or visiting one another. This way you will know each other and can better be on top of things. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another” works best in each other’s homes. To do this you have to know one another. You have to let others know you and you do this by communicating with one another.
The 1980’s is a picture of folks living beside one another but not knowing a thing about their neighbors. It is people working along side of others for years but are unable to communicate beyond the common pleasantries. And in the church folks who plan on staying together through all eternity exhibit the same coldness. This should not be. Try to make a difference by communicating. You’ll be so glad you did and so will we!
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 14, pp. 426-427
July 21, 1988