The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Measuring popularity

with 4 comments

What follows is one of those statements both too neat and too sweeping to hold water without leaking, but there’s more than a grain of truth in Leonard Ravenhill’s conclusion especially:

Attendance at the morning worship service will give you an indication of how popular your church is. Attendance at the evening worship service will give you an indication of how popular your pastor is. Attendance at the prayer meetings will give you an indication of how popular God is.

Ouch?

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 20 June 2011 at 22:34

Posted in prayer

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4 Responses

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  1. What import does the Sabbath principle have here? His has required one day in seven to be set apart for the gathering of saints to worship. This means he’s given us six days to do all our labor and work. This sounds more like a guilt trip to bind someone’s conscience to an unbiblical requirement.

    KB

    Tuesday 21 June 2011 at 01:51

    • Friend, I wonder if what appears to be your antagonism to the idea of the Lord’s day has blinded you to the point being made here? Anything in this post about the Lord’s day is more by implication than anything else. As other commenters have made clear, the point is not primarily about whether or not you observe this day, but what a church’s attitude to the appointed opportunities for corporate worship – and prayer meetings in particular – show about our convictions and priorities and attachments.

      Having said that, for many of us who hold to the notion of the Lord’s day, it is no unhealthy imposition on the conscience nor an unbiblical requirement. It is something that was given to us as men made in God’s image and now remade in God’s image through the death and resurrection of the Son on the first day of the week, an opportunity to enjoy the privilege of putting aside the cares, concerns and burdens of the other six days and giving ourselves wholeheartedly to God as he comes to presence himself with his people, pre-eminently in their gathering together.

      I say this not to start an argument with you about the abiding validity of a Sabbath observance, but simply to suggest that your response suggests an unnecessary aggression grounded in what seems to be misunderstandings about what a new covenant Sabbatarian believes, and what was the point of this post anyway. I am sorry that the possibility that someone might wish to keep one day in seven for God seems to disturb or anger you so quickly.

      Jeremy Walker

      Tuesday 21 June 2011 at 17:03

  2. I believe that this is a legitimate goading of professing Christians for a lack of commitment – if church members are looking to just do the bare minimum and chafe at being asked to do anything more, then they probably have some heart problems that need to be addressed.

    Also, notice that Mr. Ravenhill doesn’t say what DAY of the week that the prayer meeting is held on – he could be referring to prayer meetings held on Sunday morning/afternoon/night along with those scheduled for weeknights. I think that you could just as easily substitute “Sunday School” for “prayer meetings” in the paragraph above to the same effect.

    Alex

    Tuesday 21 June 2011 at 02:49

  3. I can’t be sure without seeing the quote in context; but knowing the general tendency of Mr Ravenhill’s books, I would guess the third line is the punchline. In other words, numbers at other meetings may be encouraging but are not the true gauge of the vitality of the church.

    It’s not a question of legalism – isn’t it what I call the “Spurgeon principle”? (although someone else may have said it, I’m not sure) … “The prayer meeting is the power-house of the church”.

    Crowded Sunday meetings may suggest “life”; but we all know the warning given to the church at Sardis (Rev 3:1). Prayer meetings attended by many can also be dead / flat / cold / devoid of any sense of the presence of God. If however the prayer meeting is attended by even a few people but attended by the Holy Spirit, then blessings will come.

    It’s not a matter of “do we have to go?” or “will we get missed / guilt-tripped if we don’t go?”, but rather “do I want to be among those who lay hold on God to do great things for His glory’s sake in our day & generation?”

    David

    Tuesday 21 June 2011 at 13:17


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