As familiarity was explained earlier, here are some points that can let you know when one is exhibiting those traits
- Sitting at the back of the church;
If you are too familiar with the pastor, his preaching won’t set you on fire anymore! When a pastor goes across the world, people travel to hear him, but those who are called to be in his church skip church, won’t bother crossing the road to get there, and then sit at the back nonchalantly.
2. Not buying or getting hold of product
Someone who listens to a lot of someone preach online or on CD becomes familiar. Be careful if that then stops! If you have stopped getting hold of your pastor and listening to him online, you may be becoming too familiar!
3. Not reading your pastors’s books
Discussing the background of your pastor
Every man of God is a man. That needs to be said! He doesn’t have a perfect life, he has a family, he has an imperfect marriage, imperfect children, and has the same challenges you do. You can pick any aspect of any leader’s life and then become so familiar you destroy the power of God from coming into your life. It’s that simple and that true! Be careful!
4. Fault-finding and magnifying
When a visiting speaker flies in to town, we don’t think of their faults. We never ask if they are in debt, we never ask if their lifestyle is extravagant, we never think if they are impatient or what they are like at home. We just receive.
When you are thinking like this, you have stepped into familiarity. Try removing the log from your eye before removing the speck from anyone else’s!
5. Rating our leaders
I know we live in a democracy, our job is to rate and select our leaders. But Jesus didn’t start the democracy of God, He started the kingdom of God. You don’t assess the messages, you let them assess you. You don’t rank the guest speakers you gladly receive from all of them.
We once had a lady who missed a meeting because she didn’t like the guest speaker. She said “Of course I am not going to come for him!” She was over-familiar with the speaker, and over-familiar with me, not trusting my choices to get good speakers in. In fact the message that night would have really helped her, but she wasn’t there to get the help. She did not stay long at the church! She allowed familiarity to stop her receiving. Recently, she was unwell and she met my wife, who tried to help her receive her healing, but she just shook her head and said “I’ve done all that”. She had nothing but familiarity and she sadly left sick without her miracle.
6. Failing to appreciate your pastor
It is very easy to take your pastor for granted. We neglect those we are familiar with. The biggest deception we get into is we honour guest speakers above our pastors! The pastor is the one who is there sent from God to build you, and they were the gate that opened to bring the guest speaker to you!
It is the pastor who labours over you with love. We are not trying to get a big offering for the pastor and give him a great life – we are trying to help you honour the gifts God has given you because honour brings life
Now you see the signs of familiarity, make the choices to get it out of your life. Change the way you think, give big to your pastors, turn up at church on time and sit at the front. You will suddenly get so much more life out of the church, it will be like a new church!