Pastor Gregory Mitchell warns of the dangers of routine worship
With more than 15 years in pastoral ministry, Pastor Gregory Mitchell of the Evangelistic Centre, Caledonia Road in Mandeville, has come across a range of issues affecting the Church. One such is routine worship and the many dangers associated with it.
According to Mitchell, how Christians worship is dependent on their relationship with God and will eventually depict how one will stand.
"For some people, it's just tradition; it's a part of the culture. They worship because they are told to do so, among other reasons. But people should really worship God in truth, to become spiritually strong and have His Word manifest in their lives."
It has always been said that one should not go to church with the expectation of being 'entertained', but to go and create an atmosphere of worship. However, one cannot deny that a church which ensures that its members have a spirit-filling experience is seen as more appealing.
"People come with varying ideologies and modern influences. Some churches don't have the tambourine worship with the 'good ole' redemption song anymore because it doesn't work for some people, especially the youth. But that is where true spirit filling lies. While we have to find ways to keep the youth in the Church, we cannot be open to every and anything."
Mitchell expressed that becoming too liberal only spells danger.
"We want the best for our congregation, but there must be a balance. For too long, some pastors have been shying away from speaking out, but I don't mince words to please. We need to speak up and back up what we are saying with Scripture. Routine worship happens a lot with our young people, but based on how well you present elements of worship to them, like I do, then they will get it."
He added, "Many times, there is disunity between the younger and the older members, and instead of the old helping the young to find their own (way), they are scrutinised, and soon, you find that they are out into world. Everybody has a set mind-frame, but this life is about helping people to be like minded and fostering an atmosphere of spiritual growth."
To this, Mitchell believes simple solutions such as allowing persons to be compelled by the Holy Spirit and welcoming a spirit of unity is all that is needed.
"First, we don't force people to be baptised. They need to be compelled by the Holy Spirit. Only then will they have a true experience. Second, unity among all is important. The different churches need to work together. It's about salvation, not religion, and many times, because of confusion, people tend not to go to church."
He concluded, "If we don't unite, the Devil will continue to have his way, easily sweeping away the weak among us, and then the Church will have to be blamed. Let's fight the good fight of faith and ensure we get our people back."