Feature: Church Should Make Believers Encounter God

People worship in a church.
People worship in a church.
By Li ShiguangApril 15th, 2024

In an era of rapid change, pastors and evangelists need to improve themselves to attract believers through effective sermons. When believers experience God, they become thirsty to receive more grace, forming a positive cycle.

Xiaolu, a young female church worker in East China, believed that the thirst for truth or a desire to learn should become a daily state.

Establishing its cultures, the church she serves advocates for believers’ infinite desire for God’s words. Xiaolu believed that Christians should be very interested in God Himself, His things, and His presence and be eager to know everything about Him.

In fact, many churches urge believers to be thirsty for God, but excessive demands might instead foster a rebellious attitude among some believers, making them more resistant to God.

Pastor Fang of this church stated that thirsting for God comes from experiencing God. "Because when I experience God deeply, I find that God's presence and interaction are so wonderful that I’m attracted by them."

This female pastor said that many of the things she did were done to experience God. For example, she enjoys preaching, for it can not only pastor believers but also let her experience God more.

The church where Pastor Fang serveslaunched a major discussion on why many Christians are not longing to come to church. The conclusion was that pastors and workers had an undeniable responsibility. 

Fang said that when a child lacks appetite, parents shouldn't just demand that they eat but also take them to the hospital for a check-up. Similarly, pastors and workers should not blame believers for their lack of faith or merely insist that they pursue God, but rather identify the causes and address the issue.

The church needs to create a culture to help people break negative cycles. In real life, negative situations are very common, while positive ones are few and far between.

A pastor believed that a person's spiritual life, like the annual rings of a tree, varied from each other. He declared that tree growth rings consisted of many irregular circles and ellipses, which were related to the climate, sunlight, rain, and even natural disasters each year. The pastor said that, similarly, the spiritual life was unable to be regular and perfect and that Christians should accept bad situations. He encouraged them not to be trapped by the circumstances, as few people can get out of bad situations by themselves.

Many churches emphasize that believers come to worship, pray, worship, and communicate to let them encounter God rather than comply with church regulations. "This encounter and collision with the Holy Spirit brought me back to life, and then I entered into a positive cycle," a Christian lady shared her experience in this way.

Fang once mentioned in a sermon that Paul hoped Timothy would become an example to all in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity. She said many Christians thought it was impossible to be an example in everything.

"Through preaching the sermon, I figured it out," Pastor Fang said. "The role model acts like a pathfinder, who clears away the weeds, thickets, and other obstacles ahead, which makes it easier for others to move forward. An example opens the way for the people behind him."

"I often like to say that pastors should show the right path for people, especially for young people," Pastor Fang said. "If Christians live their best lives, there will be a way for those behind them."

- Translated by Abigail Wu

related articles
LATEST FROM Church & Ministries