If we want our people to grow in emotional and spiritual maturity, then what they participate in when it comes to corporate worship needs to be biblically shaped, reverential in nature, and prayerfully planned. Doing so will help God’s people form their affections and tastes towards maturity.
Many elements helped contribute to the immaturity that is evident in the American church today. The accommodation with pop culture, an infatuation with self, an overemphasis on “reaching the youth,” and the adoption of a consumeristic mindset when it comes to the local church are just a few key aspects that have led to where we are today.
These things have led to emotional immaturity, biblical illiteracy, and theological weakness, which has in turn produced an American church that is continuing to slide deeper into a shallow Christianity, at best.
What can we do?
I propose a few thoughts for consideration.
Our homes must model and teach spiritual maturity.
When it comes to spiritual discipleship to maturity, the starting place must be in the homes. I understand that not every home includes a saved mom and dad in it. However, the Bible speaks more to that kind of situation than to others. Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and Ephesians 6:4 make it plain that Christian parents are to take the lead in the discipleship responsibility for not only their own lives, but also for their children.
As Christian parents, we should work hard at communicating well with our children about life and spiritual matters. If we are not engaging them in good conversations at ages four, five, and six, it will be so much more difficult to try to engage them when they are fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen.
However, we cannot merely talk at our children about spiritual things, we must also talk with them. Ask probing questions to them; find out what they are thinking; point their thoughts to the authority of the Scripture and to the grace of God in the gospel. If all we do is “lecture” our kids, they will soon tune us out. However, if we interact with them, and they know they can ask us whatever they want, there will be open communication and growth in maturity as a result, as well as godly fruit produced throughout their teenage and young adult lives.