The Program or the Person

By Norman Midgette

A member of another church told me the other day, “We have no program of work at our church and we get practically nothing done.” On the surface this may sound like a deplorable situation but it may be just another way for a member to feel justified in personal inactivity. What would you be doing if the church where you go had a program of work?

Our failures today are not caused by churches without programs but by individual Christians without plans. The church where you go may not have an organized program of personal work, but do you know someone lost you might teach? There is no need for you to wait for someone in the church to tell you to go, Christ has already done that (Matt. 28:18-20; 2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Thess. 1:6-10). If the church never had a personal work program and each Christian obeyed these verses, the church would grow in leaps and bounds.

“Our church has no classes for new Christians,” you might say. So what! Ever think of talking with a new Christian after services and arrange a time for him to visit you or you him. Untold encouragement could be given in such a visit. A program arranged by the church for such admonition and teaching would be good but individual responsibility is not diminished by a collective program set in motion by the leaders of the church. To the Thessalonians Paul wrote,”… for that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all toward one another aboundeth” (2 Thess. 1:3). In Paul’s first letter to them he said, “Where-fore, exhort one another, and build each other up, even as also ye do” (5:11). If the church never arranged a special program for this work, but each Christian today followed these examples, what edifying would be done!

Some churches have so many programs for so many things that they have all but programmed themselves to death. Others have no organized programs of work at all. But just remember, God does not judge programs and churches in the day of judgement, he only judges individuals (Rom. 14:12; 2 Cor. 5:10; Rev. 20:13). If you know of someone in the hospital needing a visit, go see them. If you know an alien sinner needing to be talked to, go talk to him. If you know a weak Christian needing a word of encouragement or a needy Christian needing some help, do what you can and spread the word about the need. Read your Bible regularly whether the church where you go has an organized Bible reading schedule or not. After all, the blood of Christ was not shed to save a program but to save a person, you (Heb. 9:14).

Guardian of Truth XL: No. 15, p. 13
August 1, 1996