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  • Writer's picture MaryEllen McCloud

What is Wrong with My Church Anyway?

Ever walk into a church and on the surface all of the elements look like they are there. However after you leave, you still feel empty. This can seem strange especially if you enjoyed the service overall. Even stranger when the people seemed alive and in love with God. A few years ago, God had me attending a church that I felt was all right, but I really wanted to look for a new church. I eventually found another church that I also attended. I did not feel God wanted me to stop going to the first regardless of how I felt about the second church. I really did not know why at the time, I just kept going to both. What bothered me about the first church was that I could see that all of the right things were present to make this church amazing. The children’s ministry was unstoppable and out growing the rest of the church. I had wondered why I could sense the Holy Spirit heavily on the children’s ministry, but barely a trickle where the adults were concerned. I could see a block in the flow in the spirit realm, but not the cause. I enjoyed the worship and did see many participating. The adults seemed to be responsive and growing Christians as well. The church was far from lifeless. The core of the issue rubbed at me though. God usually did not take so long to show me these types of things in the past. I would just see the problem clearly just at a glance, but for months the nature of the issue eluded me. At this point, I was fully into the second church and only going to the first church on Saturday nights. One Sunday morning, God told me go to the first church instead. The service went like normal, and then something happened. God removed the veil of what I could not see or know. The Pastor was young in his career. He appeared only confident in preaching simple 3 point messages. One of the reasons why I preferred the other church instead. I enjoy depth to sermons that I hear. I realize that some people need the smaller messages, so I do not look down on this aspect. We are all growing in God at different rates. This Sunday, the Pastor was explaining how he comes about his sermons. I did find it odd that he was actually speaking about this. Apparently, he and the Associate Pastor were writing all of the sermons together. This was my Aha moment. He didn’t need to say anything more, but he did continue on to explain. As they would discuss sermons and study the scriptures, if the Associate Pastor felt the text meant this, the Senior Pastor leaned towards accepting that interpretation over his own. This was where the block was in the flow of the Holy Spirit. Listen, when God is using you for His Glory and Honor, your work needs to be authentic. God needs to be able to mold you into His leadership vessel and give you the anointing for that message. God wants to teach, train, and guide you, not have someone else do it. He is building you into King David, and He will do the same for others separately. Moses wanted someone to help him because of his speaking issues. God was angry about it, but relented. I assure you, Moses would have been more blessed had he not second guessed his abilities through God. We cannot reach higher through someone else’s coattails. We have to do the work all on our own. It does not matter what others think. We want God to guide us, for it is supposed to be His message through us. He cannot give us revelation individually when we seek to hear the opinions of others instead. In that split second of the reveal, I had judgment against this Pastor. It was more of knee jerk reaction because I had wondered for so long, but I knew it was not his fault in intent or sin. He was just young and insecure. The Holy Spirit immediately corrected me verbally on my reaction and within a minute I was past it. God told me that He wanted me to give this Pastor a prophetic word, and so I went home and wrote a beautiful word for him. So ok, how does this affect all other churches? Clearly, this is not a problem for all. I am going to explain why at the foundation, churches struggle to have the Holy Spirit flowing like a river. This foundation was what kept this Pastor from tapping into the anointing while he preached. If he was able to tap into the anointing, the Holy Spirit would have taken over, and he would not have remained insecure about his abilities. The Power and Open Heaven would have been evident to him while he preached. The fundamental key to opening up Heaven is WORSHIP! Why in the world does God need us to worship Him anyway... Does He have a big ego to fill? For many years, I had wondered many things about why God wants us to worship Him. It is viewed as bad for man to want another man to worship him etc, so why does God need us to worship Him. What is the point? God knows who He is, doesn't He? One day God answered me... You see nothing changes God! Ever. He is the same Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. He has no Beginning or End.... Worship doesn't have an affect on God, IT CHANGES US. When We worship, we become ONE with HIM and in Alignment with HIM. Worship Changes us down to our very soul and core. We see things differently. We want things differently. We know things will be different. Worship is the frontline defense against the enemy. The enemy doesn't understand worshipping God, he worships himself. Darkness cannot be in the LIGHT, and Worship brings the LIGHT. Worship brings God into your world literally! If you feel something like a weight on your body; as light as a blanket or heavy enough that you cannot get off the floor- then that is what your Heart in Worship brought to you from Heaven-- THE GLORY CLOUD. When you don't feel like Worshipping, do it anyway... AND watch things shift in your life. We all have moments when we find it near impossible to find a smile in the day, Worship anyway... God will move! He so wants to MOVE! God gave us the KEY to bring Heaven to Earth! WORSHIP! King David used Worship in every aspect of his life and ministry. God exploded all over the scene every time for him. So what happens in a church service that will allow the Holy Spirit to flow? You WORSHIP until the HOLY SPIRIT comes in the room; then You PRAISE until the ANOINTING comes in the room Once the Anointing has arrived, then all of the elements are present to SHIFT the hearts and minds of the people. The person speaking will have full access to deliver the message and hit the targets God intends. This is the difference in churches that flow and ones that do not. You can take the same sermon and watch it hit the ground like a brick in a church that does not understand the purpose of worship. The Holy Spirit must make the way to prepare the people. One of the reasons I love to go to conferences is because the people attending are so HUNGRY. The worship is amazing, and no one complains that worship lasts for 45 minutes or longer. You can enter the building the next day, and the weight of the Glory Cloud is still in the atmosphere. Many have the mindset that church is some chore they go through during the week. Change your perception. Worship should go on until the Holy Spirit and Anointing comes in. I will tell you a secret. Once the people learn to enjoy worshiping, it will take less time for the Holy Spirit and Anointing to show up. The people’s hearts will come in wanting to have the encounter and be ready. The people will not mind Praising their Lord and King until the Anointing shows up. In fact, you may have trouble moving on past worship, which is perfectly fine as well. Let the service be completely directed by the Holy Spirit and just watch and see what happens. You want to see Signs, Wonders, and Miracles- yield to the Hand of the Holy Spirit. You will get there no other way. I would hope that as leadership learns and understands how the process works, that they will also be open to adjusting a few things. Three songs may not be enough to bring in the Holy Spirit and most likely not enough to bring in the anointing. The Holy Spirit is attracted by the hearts of the people and the longer the worship, the more ability there will be to let the people feel the presence. It all starts with the Worship team and the health of this ministry. They will be the first to experience what hits the room. You can prepare your own heart by Worshiping before you leave for a service. Many times the the Holy Spirit will come directly to me to tell me something from His heart during worship. It does not matter what the rest of the room is experiencing. I walked in under the open heaven, so I was ready to receive from the Holy Spirit. There are many speakers who know how to do these steps just over their own life so that when they preach, they are still preaching under the anointing because they brought it to themselves. This is certainly important without a doubt, but we can still see an issue. The hearts of the people are not impacted as strongly as they would be if they received from the Holy Spirit during worship. Again, the Holy Spirit prepares us for God’s message. You can also help yourself by not having anything pressing in your schedule after church. This will allow you to just relax in what God is doing in that moment. Clear your mind of how the parking lot will look, if you are not the first one out the door. Release your heart, mind, and will over to the Holy Spirit. Let Him have His way over you during service. You just never know what God will do in an instant to a person who is there will full expectation and not distracted with the things of life. For those of you who walk in a prophetic or apostolic mantle, God may reveal to you where problems lie, in places He has called you to. He will guide you on how to handle issues that He shows you. He may not ask you to do anything in that moment, so yield to what He is actually telling you to do. Only do what He instructs you to do. My only role with this Pastor was to give him a prophetic word, nothing more and nothing less. God is more than able to handle the rest. I pray a blessing over each one of you that as you go about your day, that God will become a tangible force in your life. I pray that you will learn to walk in an open heaven each day and experience a God that is endless. May you feel His love so strongly that you are forever wrecked for the better. I pray that you are catapulted into the Great things of His Kingdom. Just as King David tapped into the Mighty things of God though daily worship, I pray that you will grow and walk in this Power and Authority over your own life. I pray that all of the obstacles are removed that are hindering your relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. May you find favor and blessings in all things and walk in the overflow that God has set aside for you.

~Many Blessings

MaryEllen Martyn

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