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Jonathan Morrow writes in Chapter 1, “Spiritual formation is divinely enabled by God through three essential resources: God’s Word, God’s Spirit, and God’s people (the church)” (p. 45). Of these 3 essential resources, which do you think is the most neglected resource, and why is it the most neglected?

 

The most neglected is God’s people, and the people who neglect them the most is “God’s people”.  I have been a member of multple churches and denominations and in the majority of them I have seen much church hurt from people within the church by people from the church and when I hear former church goers tell me why they no longer go to church it is because they never knew that a place a worship, a place where they can feel the most vulnerable and become spiritually fulfilled could be a place where gossip, backstabbing and lying goes on constantly. I totally empathize where they are coming from and I understand why they would never what to step in a house of worship again, I mean what person would show up every Sunday to a place to get their feelings hurt?

In a previous church that I was a member of we had a pastor who had infidelity problems and he knew that some of the people that were close to him knew about his past misbehaviors in the church. But the pastor was very paraniod and thought that some members in the church were telling his secrets and so the pastor tried to weed them out. The pastor one day had a closed door meeting with his staff and family and confessed his sins but blamed one of his ministers by saying that he blackmailed him into confessing to try and destroy his ministry. So the pastor kicked a few members who he thought were out to get him out of the church. A few months later I spoke with the two of the members who were banished from the church and one of them said to me that even though they knew the pastor was being unfaithful he still served under the pastor because I really believed that the pastor was still a man of God but with faults, but when the pastor began to lie on him and then dismissed him from the church and took away all his friends that he made over the years there; it hurt him like no other thing had ever hurt him before. He said that this was the reason he does not go to church anymore, he said he came to church to get away from the seediness of the outside world but found nothing but heartbreak in its worst form on the inside.

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I knew this member very well, he was a member before I was even member and he served the pastor very well. He taught youth classes, preached sermons, he even went as far as cutting the pastors grass and painting his house for free, and to be tossed aside like that really hurt his soul. But this goes back to the neglect of God’s people, they sometimes get used and abused by the church. Many of them do not even get a thank you for the extra time they put in and I believe this is the reason why some people claim to be spiritual but not religious. This is also one of the reasons people keep God and their spiritual beliefs at home privately without spreading the Good News. If some churches could just appreciate what they have in their members and show them that they a very special in their house of worship I believe those same people would turn around and do more for God and the church on the outside to win more souls for Christ. Church members should not be looked upon as slaves and servants to the pastor’s every beckon call, they should be looked after as family in Christ and treated that way, as an equal and then they can be used as an essential resource.

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Hannah Waldrop

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This particular question, I find to be pretty thought provoking.  Each resource is essential; however, I believe God’s Word is absolutely the most neglected.  [The Bible] alone is the unique, written revelation of God, a permanent, meaningful, and authoritative self-expression by God of his nature and will.[1]It is known that when one opens the Bible, they are opening the line of communication from God.  As a believer myself, I struggle to get in the word every day, knowing it is exactly what I need, and as embarrassing as it may be, I am in the ministry.  So, you can imagine how foreign it must be to those who call themselves believers yet haven’t been called into full time ministry.  This is not something I am proud of; it is something I have to work very hard at to maintain.  It is not that I do not know I need it, because I absolutely do; it is the fact that I let other things take priority.  I find myself solely reading snippets from my devotion, but never truly diving into the Word.

When a person is saved, they immediately receive the Holy Spirit in the entirety. In order to hear from the Holy Spirit, one must be submerged in the Word.  From my own experience, my life is more in order when I am staying in the Word and abiding in God’s truth.  Give me someone who says they are not hearing from God, and I would be willing to be that they are not reading His Word.

We live in a time where one can find a church on every corner, especially in the Bible belt.  Even for the people who are not regular church attenders, they still manage to come when it is a holiday or special occasion.  The church is not necessarily neglected, it is more so ignored. We often hear the phrase “I do not have to go to church in order to go to heaven” and my response is, “You are correct, but the Bible says “Do not forsake the assemblies of ourselves” which is Hebrews 10:25.  See, most people do not understand the importance of church because they do not know what the Word says.

Because I personally neglect God’s word in some instances, and because it is the literal foundation on which we build our Faith, I presume it to be the most neglected, yet essential resource provided to believers. This is also one of the very reasons I was obedient to God’s calling on my life to complete seminary.  It forces me to stay in the Word, teaching me more about myself than anything else. It is beginning to transition from a neglected resource to the most vital resource available to me here on this Earth.  The Word of God gives direction and instruction on how to both utilize the Holy Spirit that dwells within us; as well as, teaching us the importance of church and how to navigate through life.

 

[1][Petit, Paul (2016). Foundations of Spiritual Formation (p. 33). Wordsearch. Retrieved from https://app.wordsearchbible.com.]

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