This is a question of whether charismatic members have high turnover in church in the typical scenario. Having a conversation discussion with my professor today, the question was asked do we give consideration to the signs and wonders of the charismatics for evangelism’s apologetics etc? The answer is charismatics typically have high turnover of membership though leadership stay stable over the years. And because of the high turnover of membership there’s a concern for this type of church.
The reason for this high turnover of membership, is that there is a lack of sufficiency in the depth of the teaching of doctrinal truths. Because of that membership swing from one church to the other in search of the one that would truly satisfy them. This really got me thinking. I’m intrigued on the accuracy and the reality of that observation statement. I do see and agree that there is a general lack of the depth of the teaching of the word of God or doctrinal truths but I didn’t know there is a high turnover of the membership. So this is a real concern for charismatic churches while they have this great exuberant expression of worship with high energy for the Lord, the foundation of it all is the doctrinal truth or the teaching of the word of God.
I’m reminded of the book called Creedal Imperatives by Carl Trueman, having not read myself, however I have read some of the recommendations for this book. Essentially creed is a set of teachings that have been passed down for generations from our spiritual forefathers in the past. Creedal imperatives is urging churches to really look to the creed that has been established for us, so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheels so to speak. The call to affirm foundational truth of the doctrinal revelation from the Canon, that has been established since the early day fathers, like Athanasius, Augustine Calvin etc. the great spiritual giants who have gone before us, fought a good fight, defeated the heretical factions, and triumphed over them. They rose up to the occasion like the defense of the trinitarian God by Athanasius was just outstanding. Augustinians exposition of the Trinitarian God is amazing. Augustine’s teaching on the city of God exposes the weakness, vulnerability and selfishness of the city of man, the cause of downfall at that time the city of Rome. But the city of God coming will be the one that gives us hope that drives us to the ideal theocratic eternal joyful Kingdom of God that is coming. A lot of which is to be studied.
A church without creed is standing on flimsy ground, exposed to whims and fancies of leadership at the time in the church. Creed established the foundational truth that we follow. I feel a lot more secured if a church has the foundational creed established not from the leadership in the church but rather from 1500 years ago or 1700 or 1800 years ago. Creeds are great, like the Apostles creed, like the Nicene creed that established the Trinitarian God which is absolutely important and hugely profound as we defeated the Arians, with Augustinian help as well.
Moving forward to solve the problem of high turnover of our of membership we need to establish some good creedal teaching in the church. We need to go back to the creed to enlighten our people, into nourishing them and to feeding them. Like Jesus said ‘feed my sheep.’ The reason people float around churches having high turnover is simply they are not satisfied with the spirit of truth with the truth of God being preached. Basically they’re hungry spiritually. For people to grow healthily they should be rooted in one community, where they can receive nourishment to continue to grow and not just some imperatives telling them to do ministry all the time. The motivations to serve must be the Lord. God is the first causation of all. People are exhausted. People needs their creedal truth anchored in the person of Christ.
A great example of the creed is the Westminster’s Confession which is thoroughly insightful foundational anchoring giving the truth like the inerrancy of the word of God, the simplicity of God, the first causation of God etc. etc. All these have been established, and would require no more effort for us to dig into them. All we need to do is to capture this teaching and teach it to our folks so that they are anchored in the House of God.
I strongly urge many charismatics to embrace and look into creedal teachings and foundations. To look into Reformed Theology that shook the Vatican in Germany when Luther proclaimed that “I won’t recant, for my conscience is upon the Word of God, and to do otherwise will be wrong”. That challenged the Pope and birthed the Reformation movement. When John Calvin wrote the Institute of the Religion he broke new ground ,he brought it amazing insight systematic theology that revels the teachings of God’s word and function as the anchors for our souls.
We should go for the best in God and not just the leftovers. The Lord bless you. Amen.