Mature Christians: What good are they?
On a fairly regular basis, someone will introduce themselves to me at Four Rivers Church with some sort of line like, “Hi Pastor, my name is ___________. I’m a mature believer who is looking for a new church.”
At this point, trying not to roll my eyes, I wonder what is about to come next.
“I’d like to ask you some questions about what types of ministries your church offers for me and my family.”
Keeping my eyes on theirs, smiling, looking pastoral, feeling a little trapped…
“We are ‘trying out’ a few churches right now. And we have heard some good things about yours…”
I load a question… and ask them what types of service opportunities they are seeking. I might say it like, “How are you hoping to serve?” “What types of gifts do you bring and hope to use?” “How has God used you in the church before?”
I’m really trying to help them out here.
They say, “Well, I’m not really looking to serve right now. I’m kind of taking a break from that. My last church expected me to do all kinds of things. I mean, I was on the nursery rotation once a month… I helped pass out bulletins & occasionally, I was an usher. Right now, my family and I are looking to be fed. We just need to soak in God’s truth.”
Trying not to run them off, I’m carefully choosing my words. With candor, I’m thinking…. ‘so you don’t want to contribute, you don’t want to use your gifts, you don’t want to help… you just want to soak in…’ No, wait… I may not need to say it that way.
I write this little hypothetical story to introduce an important topic. When did ‘mature’ become a statement of time spent as a Christian and not ‘depth’ of faith and contribution to the world?
In reality, mature Christians are those believers whose faith matters… whose faith has positive affect on those around them.
In reality, mature Christians are those whose time is given to serve, whose money is given to provide and whose gifts are used to bless.
In reality, mature Christians are those who other folks depend on. Mature Christians teach others, provide great examples of faith, encourage, follow when led & lead when leaders are needed.
And mature believers are so very needed! I know that our church needs more and more mature believers.
We will get those in two ways.
1. Home Grown Maturity
We are certainly going to need to continue to grow mature believers from among the hundreds of new believers in the church. If you are someone who has given your life to Christ in the past few years… or someone who has come back to Christ recently… the church needs you to grow.
2. Transfers Maturity
We are also most certainly going to need God to transfer some maturity to us. There are genuinely mature people out there who are starving for an opportunity to serve, give back and lead. If you are out there hoping for… praying for… and needing an opportunity to live out maturity. Four Rivers needs you. I need you.
Come help us Grow Away!
If you have been tempted to be a poser… someone who outwardly pretends to be more mature than you are. Stop pretending. Get honest about where you really are. And then grow. We need you.