One Pastor's Conviction

Actions Have Consequences

Month: December, 2013

Why Don’t You Go To Church?

Hypo Crite

Just a quick question for my Face Book Friends. Why do you choose, not to attend Church? (I grew up hating church & had many reasons so now that I am a pastor I am interested in hearing the reason(s) that you do not go to church) -You will not offend me, please just be authentic… — feeling curious.

 Randy Anthony Social anxiety.

Chad Lovejoy Social anxiety is a discomfort or a fear when a person is in social interactions that involve a concern about being judged or evaluated by others. It is typically characterized by an intense fear of what others are thinking about them (specifically fear of embarrassment, criticism, or rejection), which results in the individual feeling insecure, not good enough for other people, and/or the assumption that peers will automatically reject them.
How sad that Church People has caused anyone to suffer from such a stumbling block as Social Anxiety. It saddens me that this is a Truth in today’s congregations all across our country and even in our valley. Wake up Church! We are to be a hospital to those that are seeking REFUGE from the “intense fear” of Satan’s world! We are driving people AWAY from Redemption and AWAY from a Life of Love, Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness with our nonsensical man made ways and preferences! The Church is not a Man-Made Organization! The Church is a Divine Institution where Everyone should be Welcomed, Loved and “Preached To”, not “Preached At!” May God chastise and correct us in our folly in this very evening! God Bless You Randy Anthony

 Anita Gillespie It’s Boring.. Same nature covered in all sermons… (I go to church) but that’s why I’ve skipped out some in the past.

Chad Lovejoy It is amazing to me how so many preachers/pastors get on their hobby horses and preach the “same ol same ol.” Guess what, our lives do not follow the “same ol same ol” pattern. Acts 20:27For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.” – ALL of the counsel of God means Preaching Exegetically from Genesis to Revelation.
Too many sermons and/or sermon series’ have become “Topical” to where some preacher takes a few Scriptures of the Bible and they plug them in some “magical formula” and emphatically state “SEE THE END IS COMING SOON!” or Worse, they try and preach to the congregation “topically” based upon what they FEEL their congregation needs to hear, thus falling into the “same ol same ol, beat-it-into-your-brains” pattern. No one grows spiritually from this. God wants His entire Love letter (The Bible) to be preached, and He does not want us preachers to preach what WE THINK we ought to preach. God wants us to preach His Word, His Way in His Time.Recently I heard a preacher on several occasions and each time he would begin from different texts in the Bible and no matter which text he started in, he would turn that sermon into a stance on Water Baptism… I was left thinking, you got THAT out of 1 Timothy? How?We can shout, hoot, stomp and holler all we want, but when there is a ton of HEAT coming out of the pulpit and there is no LIGHT, it is time to step back, step down, and reflect on whether or not we are truly being empty vessels of God Almighty, or are we just occupying a spot behind the pulpit? When we preach man-made sermons, it is man-made results that we can expect… God Bless You Anita Gillespie

Melinda Gibson-Anderson A lot of excuses . . . .

Chad Lovejoy Haggai 1:2Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, that we fix the LORD’S house. 3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house (God’s house?) lie to waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.” 
For the 1st 2 years, the people had made an attempt to rebuild the Temple, but then the people began to make excuses. Gradually, they had lost their vision and had drifted into a lifestyle where God’s house was no longer the priority. They probably viewed it as nice, but not necessary; extra, but not essential.We need to see ourselves in this picture. If we know Christ, there was a time when we made a personal commitment to Him. At first, we are zealous for spiritual things. We read our Bible every day. We get involved with Christian groups. We get involved serving in a local church. But then our efforts are met with difficulties. Maybe a personality clash with another Christian, or we were disillusioned with the disappointing results, or we encountered personal trials that God didn’t remove, even after much prayer.Meanwhile, life moved on. We start our careers and a family. We have bills to pay and other demands on our time. Church and the Lord’s work drifted into the background. Oh we still attend church as often as we can, but it has become a slice of life, not the center. We tell our self that we just don’t have time to serve as we used to. Someone else who doesn’t have the responsibilities that we have will have to get involved. Without deliberately rebelling against God, we have drifted into putting our house above God’s house. When our conscience nags, we have reasons to explain why things are this way.We find our lives in this spot and say things likesomeday I’ll have all the kids through college and the bills paid, and then we’ll give more to the Lord’s work.Or, “This is a hectic time in our family life. The kids demand so much attention. Every day is taken up with meeting their needs. But someday we’ll be through this phase, and then we’ll get involved in the church.

Often life is not about making bad or good decisions, rather it is up to us to make a GOOD decision, or the BEST decision. The Lord warns us here to put the First things First. We must as Haggai 1:5 says “Consider our ways” Also, Matthew 6:21 Jesus saysFor where your treasure is, there will be your heart also” God Bless You Melinda Gibson-Anderson

 Brandi Lopez I have a reading comprehension issue and growing up we had “homework” for Sunday school. That’s no big deal but when I would come back the next week they would ask questions and a lot of the times just choose people to answers instead of taking volunteers. I always felt very dumb not being able to answer the questions. Without someone really sitting down and explaining things to me, I had a hard time understanding how to read and comprehend what I was reading throughout verses and what not. From there I started to not like being there and gave my parents a hard time on Sunday mornings getting g ready for church. I hate that I did that to them but I don’t know if I fully understood what I’m explaining now at that point in time. That’s my story.  I enjoy church now. 
Chad Lovejoy  God Bless You Brandi. My dad just passed away in October and he could not read or write. He loved the Lord and he had many questions about Him. It is important for us to tailor to those who need more attention in seeking The Lord. I know that you CAN read and write and this does not apply to you per say however, these types of things happen all of the time! We cannot alienate those people who simply cannot comprehend the Sunday School lesson. We need to make ourselves available so that the Word of God is Clear to everyone, no matter their age, intellect, etc. It is much more important to spend an extra 30 minutes with one of God’s created souls to further explain who He is than it is to Rush out of church in hopes of getting to the local Dairy Queen before it closes! Thank you for sharing your story and may everyone who reads this take note, that EVERYONE deserves attention when it comes to the Eternal Truths of God. Even if you do miss out on that Peanut Buster Parfait from DQ….

Mandy Skeens I have a lot of excuses. Most of them are not good enough, though.

Chad Lovejoy God Bless You Mandy Skeens. You and I have talked and I know that God will see you through this. It is up to you and Kevin to be the spiritual leaders within the realm that the Lord has you in during this time. He has entrusted you with your household and has given you the opportunity to touch so many other families through sports. If you were to “accept” and make a concentrated effort to be God’s missionary, I mean take this mission as if there were no Church buildings around, no men or women of God, no Bibles to read, Just you and Kevin, imagine the life changes to those that you come in contact with. I know this sounds foolish to the World, Foolish to your friends but do you suppose that when God calls you home, He is going to look at you and saynow Mandy, let’s talk about this foolishness you pulled during wrestling season in 2013-2014… What were you thinking trying to tell those people about me?Of course not… He will proclaim to you, well done thou faithful servant! I Love You guys!

Susan W. Smith Chad….for me it was a church hurt. I gave of my time and talents and accepted nothing for it. I left and no one cared. NOT one call. I feel that was all because of the pastor and his ill feelings toward me. I called him on the carpet over things I did not agree with….not to be nasty but to try and understand. I was a vital and integral part of the congregation. I did anything and everything I could to make the church work efficiently and to the glory of God. I volunteered my time playing the piano, helping with the choir, sometimes directing the choir and writing programs because we were a poor church with little money. I have passed people in stores who went there and they have looked me SQUARE in the eye and not spoken to me. I did NOTHING wrong. I had and have a PURE heart. The Bible says, “search me O God and know my heart today.” God knows my heart and he knows the hurt that it has caused me and the stumbling block the situation caused in my life. I still hold tight to my faith and my relationship with God, but the hurt has wounded me. I even CALLED the pastor on the phone and told him a scratch had become a boil and we needed to get the differences taken care of……he never called. I confronted him at my aunt’s funeral and told him I missed my church family….he didn’t respond….just proceeded to glare at me and look straight through me. It has taken many years to get past this…..he has left the church and the church is floundering. I am preparing myself to go back….God is working…..He has never left me and I have never left Him. That pastor has since left the church and some followed him to his new big fancy church. I have problems with that, too. To me, that is following a man and not the Lord. Our little church need all of its people, including me. My grandfather and uncle helped to build that church. My grandmother was custodian there… is MY church and I WILL RETURN…..God help my attitude and please pray for me that I will be a light there when I get there. Thank you, Chad….your prayers for me and my family would be appreciated. So….an answer to your question would be this: We easily take our eyes off of God. We must NEVER follow a man….NOT ever a pastor….but the Lord. The minute we take our eyes off from Him….we will FAIL. Thank God He still abides in my heart! XOXO

Chad Lovejoy This is what I consider a colossal Failure on behalf of the overseer in that particular Church. I am of the belief that the congregation is a reflection of the Pastor in which God has called to minister to them. It seems to me that this logic applies specifically to your case. Where is the transparency of God’s people these days? Why are we so guarded? Does any MAN or WOMAN know Everything? Do any of us obey God so righteously that we are Never Wrong? Are we ABOVE being confronted with a concern from one of our brothers or sisters? If we can’t take confrontation with one of our brothers and sisters, how in God’s name can we handle confrontation from lost sinners? How shameful!
Paul holds the Berean’s in Acts 17 in high esteem because of their inquisitive minds and hearts. It should be encouraged among each other to check the preaching, check the teaching, check the services to see if these things are lining up with The Word of God! How can WE, TOGETHER, Rightfully divide The Word of God if there is only one opinion, one authority, a usurper if you will. This is nothing more than cult-like and it is sad.
Read Ephesians 4:11-16 and tell me where there is room for this type of behavior from God’s Children! We are born together in The Almighty Blood of Christ! There is nothing that can separate us from Him or each other. We may disagree but in the Likeness of Christ we can do so without being cold or combative.Glory to Him that you have steadfastly remained planted in truth during this bleak period of time in your church life. It is no wonder people have given up on Church. Praise God you never gave up on God! A word of caution for the pastor, “If those people will follow you, they will follow the next guy that comes along just as easily.” I love you and God Bless You Susan W. Smith – ps. If they don’t want ya, We will take ya!
Faith Morris It saddens me to say, I have a lot of excuses, but none are ever close to being good enough. But I can tell you for years I didn’t go for the fact of all the judgmental people in the churches. The ones that went and talked about me for having a daughter out of wedlock, or living with someone. Yes I know yhat was wrong. But why people feel the need to judge others so harshly instead of helping lead them to the lord I don’t get! So many church are this way!! But I can say I have never been made to feel this way at Victory Baptist!
Chad Lovejoy God Bless You Faith Morris, we are not to be Fruit Inspectors. We are to be Fruit Producers through the Power of the Holy Spirit! If you do ever encounter such judgement in Victory Baptist Church I beg you to bring it to my attention and we will bring it to light in the company of witnesses and the Face of God. Matthew 18:15-17

Melissa Hanlin Hughes I don’t have reasons Chad just a bunch of excuses….. Ever since my dad passed away I have changed or my life has changed I should say and the desire I had at one time left when my dad left…

Chad Lovejoy God Bless You Melissa Hanlin Hughes, I know that the loss of your daddy took much out of you and at the time I understood, but I could not relate. Now that I have lost my dad, I can relate. That being said, It is clear that life is filled with Peaks and Valleys and this certainly does NOT change when we become Christian’s. If we look in Genesis 32:24-32 we see that ol’ rascal of a man named JACOB (later named Israel) finally gets saved. He had been blessed immensely up to this point in his life. No matter what he touched, God Blessed him! You would think that since God had blessed him before, the blessings would just get better, but that was not the case. In fact, in Chapter 34 Jacob’s only daughter gets raped, then 2 of his sons (Simeon & Levi) conjure up a plan to slaughter the whole village that the rapist lived in. The following Chapter, 35 we see Jacob obeying God, and a woman (named Deborah) who he loved as if she were his own mother dies. Then the love of his life, (wife Rachel) dies while giving birth to their son Benjamin. In the same Chapter his oldest son (Reuben) sleeps with his handmaid (Bilhah – who birthed two of Reuben’s brothers! Dan & Naphali.) Then After that, his Daddy Isaac passes away.
It is essential that we keep our eyes on The Lord who Created us, Saved us and Sustains us, Even in the valleys. 2 Kings 3:16 tells us not to sit Idle in those Valleys. Don’t just give up! It says to “Make this Valley Full of ditches!” Why? Because a flood of God’s blessings are coming! If you don’t dig that ditch in that valley, He cannot fill it with blessings! So I encourage you while you are in this valley to heed to God’s Word and Dig the deepest ditches that you can dig because when His flood of blessings come, you want to be able to hold them all! He is a great big God and He can fill any ditch to the very top!

There are many people who love God but refuse to go to church. It is part of my ministry to connect to the “de-churched” of this generation and give real, honest answers to those that do want to worship God regardless of how certain churches operate and regardless of tradition and regardless of religion. No Church, no Tradition and no Religion EVER saved anyone. Never has, never will. Jesus tells us in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


Convictions of a Pastor


Proverbs 14:12 has brought conviction upon my soul tonight, and I want to share with you my heart if you will allow me. My name is Chad Lovejoy and I am the Lead Pastor at Victory Baptist Church in Cross Lanes, WV. In many ways it appears that the wind of God’s mercy is at our back and we are heading into another wonderful season of blessings in which we are not worthy to receive. Our father has shed His abundant grace upon us over the past 15 months that I have been here and it is all to Him we owe. I recently preached a sermon on the basis that, it is often better for us to share our weaknesses with each other rather than sharing our strengths. I want it to be clear that no person has come up to me with any concern or complaint in regards to what I am being convicted of here tonight. This conviction is coming straight from the Lord Himself and He has led me to the aforementioned verse Proverbs 14:12 which reads, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

In the convicting work of The Lord initially I find fear, disappointment, regret, ineptitude, and so on, but following the initial sting that pierced my heart, I find joy. For I know that in His correction, He shows me love. In His strong hand, He shows me that I am His child. In His rebuke I find humility. Gratefully, He has once again showed me that I can do nothing with out Him and His peace over comes me as I repent and beg for restoration that I do not deserve, but as His child I know that He will grant it to me. Thank You Jesus, I love you.

Psalms 31:19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

Let the Truth Be Known…
Church, we need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit! We need to stop talking about it and be unleashed for God! There are glaring issues that I see as the pastor of our church that are keeping us from facilitating spiritual growth and change; therefore we are missing the mark in the vision laid out in Ephesians 4:11-16. If these issues are not addressed then I am at fault. It is up to me as a servant leader to facilitate spiritual growth and change by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Specifically, I find the decline in attendance on Wednesday and Sunday evening services to be disturbing. Initially, we saw a great increase in attendance for all services and it was very encouraging for me personally to see such dedication to The Word of God that there was not much difference between the number of people that attended Sunday mornings and Wed./Sun. night services. We most definitely were not like most churches in that it is very “typical” for Sunday morning services to be the most attended service for the week. In my optimism, I was blind to the suggestions of other preachers and pastors around the area that told me that it wouldn’t last. “This is only temporary” they would say, and “once the novelty of having a new pastor wears thin on the people, they too will begin to stay at home for the evening services.” I took offense and refuted such suggestions and boldly proclaimed that “we are not like other churches!” ‘We are not typical at Victory Baptist Church!” A few months later, now that the “Honeymoon” period is over, I find myself wondering, “what happened?”

What Happened?

Was everyone right? Are we not different? Have we become typical? Have the people already grown tired of me? Have the people already become bored or annoyed by how I teach and preach God’s Word?

Is this “Honeymoon” period phenom for real? I’ve been praying. I’ve been studying. I’ve been dedicated. I’ve been faithful. What happened?… “I” happened… “I” have failed… In the midst of being dedicated to The Word, studying The Scriptures and praying for wisdom, I have failed miserably to be an effective facilitator. I was so caught up in preparing the teaching and preaching for these evening services that I lost my regard for the practical needs of those that we coming so faithfully to participate in the services. As I faithfully proclaimed The Word every night, I foolishly lost sight of the fact that the house of God must be a place for everyone to be focused and alert in order to receive what was being said from the pulpit.

A Bad Host for the Lord of Hosts…

As the pastor of VBC I have failed to be a good host to our people. I have failed to provide adequate classrooms that facilitate spiritual growth for those that are 18 and under. Fact is, if I go to church and there is nothing for me, I am not going. That is why the 18 and under crowd has stopped coming to our church on Sunday/Wed. night. Looking back I find it arrogant of me to think that “my way” of teaching and preaching God’s Word was engaging to all ages. It is as if I believed that “my way” of breaking down Scripture is interesting to everyone, no matter their age or intellect. In my ignorance, it seems that I placed so much faith in “my delivery” as a messenger of God that I took on the attitude of “If they can’t understand my teaching of the Bible then they ‘must not be interested in learning.”‘ That is not good shepherding. In doing so, I have neglected their spiritual well-being and there is a possibility that some of these young people will give up on church or even worse, give up on God. Oh how I pray that God will not let that happen!

These Young People Have Parents…

It stands to reason that if there is nothing there for the young people, they will not want to come. If they do come, they are either pushed to the back and into the nursery with toddlers or they stay up front huffing and puffing mad, because their parents won’t let them play with their cell phones during service. What kind of shepherd am I to be so careless with God’s flock? Babies and toddlers belong in the nursery, everyone else belongs in an environment that they can grow in the Lord, period. This is my responsibility and I have erred tremendously up to this point in making the appropriate accommodations for each and every soul that comes through our doors. My indifference to do so causes the parent(s) who really do/does want to come and learn more about our Heavenly Father to regret even coming to church at all! They aren’t being edified because they are too busy trying to entertain their own children. They could have stayed home and done that, which essentially is exactly what these parents are doing. All of our actions have consequences and the truth is, I have made it awfully easy for many people to stay at home during the Wednesday and Sunday night services.

Oh Wretched Son of Adam…

I have failed. In my blindness I have become careless with the flock in which God Almighty has entrusted me. My carelessness is a sin before Him and I pray that He will forgive me and show me mercy for my errors. I also pray that He will be gracious enough to move upon the hearts of those that I have caused to stumble so that they may forgive me and give me another opportunity to pastor them and reward them for their faithful attendance with edification from above, at every single service.

Remember Lot’s Wife…
Luke 17:32 from the mouth of Jesus we simply read “Remember Lot’s wife.

She was dragged out of God’s wrath and into safety by the Lord’s angels, yet she looked back to where her heart truly was and she paid for it with her life. I am very thankful that the Lord has revealed to me at an early stage in the ministry where I am lacking as a shepherd. He has chastized me for being a bad facilitator. I know that I will fail Him many more times in the years to come if He allows me to continue to breathe, but I will take heed to the words of Jesus and not look back to the place that He has dragged me out of. (I know I shouldn’t end this sentence with the prepositional noun “of”- don’t judge me haha!) I can not change what has happened up to this point in the ministry but I acknowledge my error before you and the Face of God. The leadership of the church will be having a meeting on Sunday morning and from this day forward, VBC will be committed to providing every one with an environment to learn more about Christ at each service, regardless of age or intellect. Moving forward at Godspeed I ask you to join us, for Jesus tells us, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62)

I Love You and God Bless,

Pastor Chad Lovejoy –