Basically, this means that many (hopefully most or all) of our sheep in our fold are saved people, wanting to serve God and please Him in some degree. Our ministry is to serve the sheep working God’s will and desire for them. On the one hand, we should help them grow spiritually, and on the other hand, we should confront their sin, rebuke it, pray for them, and see them get victory over there sins.
Let’s just define these for clarity. A church has to at least have a clear, scriptural plan of salvation. If the group, church, or principal leaders have doctrinal error on the doctrine of salvation, then it is a false religion. Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Catholics, etc. are all false religions because they either do not believe in Jesus Christ as the unique and singular savior of souls, or because they add works to salvation. That correct, orthodox view of salvation has to be a key principle focus of the church to even begin to consider it as a good church.
Moreover there are churches that seem to have “lost their way” as far as the spiritual fight we are in, and they have taken the Don Quixote position of attacking windmills instead of the enemy. There is a saying that is an excellent guide here. “Major on majors, and minor on minors.” Salvation, holiness, evangelism, service, these types of things are majors. A church that minors on things that are not really very important, but they make them important because of some driving obsession with proving their point on minor matters is simply a bad church. At times this becomes difficult to discern the line. I believe it is very, or rather extremely important to stress the authority of God’s word, and to uphold and defend the inspiration of Scriptures. In my book, churches that think that holding up a KJV Bible answers all of that is just off base. Why? Because issues of importance WILL ALWAYS WITHOUT EXCEPTION HAVE A FOUNDATION IN SCRIPTURES, EXPOSITING KEY VERSES.
It is extremely sad to see so many hours that preachers and pastors preach in the pulpit over the years, and probably the least mentioned topic in all this preaching is what the preacher should morally be (his moral example), and what he should be doing in the ministry. It should be a great concern among all men of God, but unfortunately, there are few “biblical preachers“. Most seek what they consider best, and while they will beat horribly the cults and false doctrines of others because they don’t really respect nor highly esteem the Word of God, rarely will they hold themselves, their ministries, and their personal lives to the same standard as they demand from others. Unfortunately when a hypocrite stands before a crowd and teaches, the norm is that the crowd ignores what he says and becomes like what he is morally, a smart (and often Bible quoting) hypocrite. Although this is simply God blessing or cursing us on the basis of what we are, all of this is very firmly presented in the Word of God, and even so, we regularly ignore it (on the part of ministers as well as laymen).
It is important to understand that the Pulpit Committee is making decisions which will decide the spiritual welfare of that church perhaps for the next 15-30 years, and they may well condemn the church to spiritual ruin if they make an error. That should not scare us from undertaking the task, but it should make us very careful and prayerful in all that we do.