by Charles Robey

"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it"(Matthew 16:18).

Are you suffering from the "Goldilocks Syndrome", in your search for that perfect church ? If so,then join the crowd. One of the hardest task,within the Christian community, is breaking into a new church.

Like Goldilocks porridge,some churches are too hot, while some are too cold. In other words,some church memberships will welcome you with fake written on their hands and on their foreheads. Others will not welcome you at all.

Despite the cute name, the "Goldilocks Syndrome" is very real in today's churches, with a church located on most every corner of your city, but none of them seem to tackle the central issue, which is a sincere attitude towards visitors.

Even if we have the confidence to know when our porridge is “just right,” what we feel – and exhibit – is not always how others perceive us. Especially, in a corporate church setting. This emotional dissension can defiantly give a prospective church member a disadvantage networking with a new churches membership.

Here are a few points to ponder, as the "Goldilocks Syndrome" relates to the church.

APPROACH (Galatians 6:10)
•Too hot: If you’re competitive and vocal in breaking into that new church, you may be perceived as pushy.
•Too cold: Perhaps others will think you’re not aggressive enough.

PASSION (1 Peter 4:10-11)
•Too hot: Showing sensitivity puts you at risk for being labeled “emotional.” Never raise your hands in praise of shout "amen".
•Too cold: If you don’t show your feelings at all, you’re at risk for being labeled “heartless.”

PARENTHOOD (Titus 2:3-5)
•Too hot: Some might assume that if you have a child you won’t be able to do your job as well.
•Too cold: If you don’t have a child, you’re criticized for not being maternal enough

SPEAKING OUT (Hebrews 13:17)
•Too hot: Some people say that talking about the alleged problems in the church, is just a way of not wanting to get involved in the ministry.
•Too cold: On the other hand, avoiding the topic entirely can show your real disinterest of not wanting to address problems.

•Stop right here,. this isn’t "YOU". Everyone knows it's "THEM". Actually, scrape those clichés, "ITS ALL OF US"

In conclusion never wear your feelings on your sleeve. One of the first things you’ll learn in breaking into a new church is that people are very opinionated. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it. For every church naysayer (Romans 16:17) there’s another dedicated "SPIRIT FILLED" servant eager to minister to your spiritual needs, if just given a chance (1 Peter 5:2).

All in all, the church double standard won’t disappear overnight. My prayer is that we all think twice about how we treat others, so that we can work towards curing Goldilocks Syndrome (Matthew 7:12) .

The church has two main purposes, 1) Grow the saints (body of believers) in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18), and 2) Evangelize the unsaved (Mark 16:15). If this full gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4) is not being preached in your church (Matthew 10:14), go church hunting. How wonderful today's church environment world would be, if we simply followed our first church's psychology (Acts 2L 41-47).

They received the word and were baptized (Acts 2:41)

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer( Acts 2:42).

Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles (Acts 2:43)

All the believers were together and had everything in common (Acts 2:44).

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts (Acts 2:46),

Praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:47).

Author's Post Script:
What happened to our "old time religion". After all, God never changed (Hebrews 13:8), so why change His church ? Call me a dinosaur, if you may. I can't help but ponder those old "brush-arbor" revival meetings where the "Amen's" and the "Hallelujah's" echoed, as the spirit was revealed.

And why don't we still raise our hands in praise (Psalms 63:3-4)? Are we afraid the raised hand may volunteer us for that special church task ?

The story is told of the "old fashion" Deacon who prayed, " Dear Lord, lets something happen in church today, that's not in the bulletin".

What do you think? Are we experiencing the "Goldilocks Syndrome" of being too hot or too cold? Let us pray our Heavenly Father will make our spiritual porridge "JUST RIGHT" (Philippians 4:11).

Amen !

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