There’s a reason why the Bible says, “but be doers of the word, and not hearers only.” Our typical Sunday experience is to slide in to church, get a spiritual buzz, and slip on out–unchanged, unscathed, unchallenged. Is that how it is meant to be? Obviously not, but with the hearing and not doing pandemic being so widespread, there must be some way to improve. Is there?
Preach the Word
Leaders don’t grow people spiritually. God does that. Leaders are given to the church to equip the people for maturity. There is a difference. The way this happens is by consistent, Bible-centered teaching. Face it. The command from James 1:22 is impossible to obey unless people are actually hearing the Word. Preach the Word so people can hear the Word. Then, they can do the Word.
One of the core components a healthy and mature church is that they are actively involved in ministry (Eph 4:12). What does that mean? That means that the church’s leadership are not the main players in church ministry. The people of the church are. Ephesians 4:12 teaches that growth happens only when people are actively ministering. The context of James 1:22, the “hear and do” passage suggests the very same. In order to hear and do, your people must be actively involved in ministry.
God answers prayer. Daily, specific, continual prayer for your people is so important. Prayer demonstrates your love and commitment to them. Prayer changes things. Prayer will be instrumental in God helping your church members to be doers, not just hearers.
The ministry of church should continue beyond the hour-and-a-half Sunday morning. Small group meetings, email, Facebook, Twitter, and fellowship all contribute to the sustained spiritual influence of the church and the growth-producing interaction that results when Christian people interact on spiritual issues. Doing the word, not merely hearing, comes about through persistent reminder and kind exhortations.
Encourage the Reading of the Word
Bible reading is God’s means of spiritual growth in people. In order to become doers of the Word, people must have intake of the Word. Encourage your people to read the Bible regularly. Provide free Bible reading schedules for their use. Have a weekly memory verse. Stressing the need for daily Bible intake will contribute toward doers, not merely hearers.
Apply the Word
How can people become doers of the Word if they don’t know how to do the Word. Preaching that never gets below the surface meaning of the text will fail to change lives. A skilled preacher knows how to teach the truths of the Bible and apply them to daily life in the modern world. This is the most difficult part of preaching. A preacher is not entitled to impose his own opinions on people, but true biblical application is not an imposition of opinions. It is an explanation of the application of the timeless Word. Specific application is crucial if people are to become doers and not merely hearers.
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