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How can I help the spiritual
climate of my church?

Despite what people sometimes think, the spiritual environment of the church does not rest solely on the shoulders of the minister. We may remember the extraordinary miracles performed by Jesus throughout his earthly ministry. However, when he returned to Nazareth, his hometown, he was unable to do many great miracles there. Imagine, Jesus Christ himself, the son of God, could not bring revival to Nazareth — He could not produce many great results there. But it was not due to a lack of anointing upon his ministry, but because of their unbelief. "And He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matt. 13:58).

If we want to improve the spiritual climate of our church, the congregation must work together with their spiritual leaders as a team, becoming a people of prayer, faith and spiritual commitment. We must learn to add our faith to the preachers', to lift up Christ together to promote an environment that will invite the moving of the Holy Spirit.

In the services, the preacher and worship leaders seek to encourage an "atmosphere" of worship to the Lord, along with faith, expectancy, unity, and enthusiasm. Those in the congregation need to cooperate in this endeavor, to help lift the atmosphere of the service into a spiritual climate. By participating in worship, we help to create a corporate environment of God's presence that will accommodate faith and the richness of the Holy Spirit. This attitude tends to subdue unbelief, a lack of expectancy, and other negatives represented there that will hinder the effectiveness of the ministry.

The word "atmosphere" is an important word as it relates to the disposition and climate of a church service. The atmosphere is the impression or the "awareness" that is perceived by the people in the congregational setting. Any gathering of people has a collective personality or "spirit," in the same way individuals do. When we assemble with a group, we sense the overall spirit and attitude of that group. Since human beings are reflectional creatures, we tend to reflect the attitude of that group's personality. When people laugh, we tend to laugh. If people are friendly, we are inclined to be friendly.

In effect, when people come into a group atmosphere charged with praise and worship, they will likely react by joining in. An atmosphere of excitement and expectancy breeds excitement and expectancy. If the atmosphere tends to be disinterested, unresponsive, and unbelieving, people tend to reflect this attitude.

Christians should learn to help be catalysts of worship. By faith, we should try to help encourage praise to God within the body, by leading out with our own attitude of worship. Our enthusiastic participation helps to influence the atmosphere of the whole gathering. As more people participate in such attitudes, the service takes on an enhanced personality. Perhaps this is one reason why David saw the importance of expressing his worship boldly before his brethren. "I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the congregation I will praise You" (Psa. 22:22). The psalmist also said, "I will give You thanks in the great congregation; I will praise You among many people" (Psa. 35:18).

Since "we" are the temple of the Holy Spirit, it makes sense for believers to let the Holy Spirit's presence flow out of their temple and into the environment of the service (1 Cor. 6:9). The Word says the Lord "inhabits" the praises of His people (Psa. 22:3). That means He brings His presence to wherever He is praised and lifted up — that His presence resides in the praises of His children. When we lift praise and worship to Christ out of our spirit, His presence is made real and flows in the atmosphere of the service. This is what Jesus was referring to when He said, "For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them" (Matt. 18:20). We should always gather with the goal to lift up Christ and allow the Spirit of God to fill the climate of the service — the atmosphere of the meeting.

Every believer can help lift the spiritual climate of their church, if they will be people of participation, prayer and spiritual commitment. Intercede regularly and fervently for your church — pray for your pastor and leaders. And when you gather with the church to worship the Lord, contribute to the positive impact of the gathering. By faith — that is without relying on feelings — enter into the service enthusiastically. Participate eagerly with the songs of worship. Respond to the preaching with an audible "Amen" once in a while (guaranteed to be noticed by the pastor). Make the joyful noise of praise and help overcome any climate of lethargy, spiritual coldness, or unbelief. This will help elevate the service into an awareness of the Lord's presence and will help to improve the spiritual climate of your church. "Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises" (Psa. 98:4).

This article is from the book, What People Ask About the Church, authored and copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2015, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us.