The devil tempts us to believe lies about who God is. Here are five ideas to encourage your church that God cares about their daily choices.
By Lizzy Haseltine
According to Lifeway Research’s 2022 State of Theology, a growing number of Americans (32%) believe God doesn’t care about their day-to-day decisions.
This is up from 25% in 2020 and is the highest number since the State of Theology first asked U.S. adults this question in 2014.
If you’re a pastor reading this, your theology likely leads you to understand God doesn’t care any less about Americans now than He has in the past. But empty church pews reveal a culture that cares increasingly less about God.
Perhaps, that’s because many Americans believe God isn’t interested in them—that God doesn’t care whether they get hungover or don’t show up at church on Sunday. He doesn’t see them crying in the middle of the night or understand their never-ending struggle with addiction.
If people aren’t viewing God as present with them, it’s much easier to picture Him as a higher power than a Father who loves His children. It’s the story of Genesis 3 on repeat. The devil tempts God’s children to believe lies about who God is—and His intentions for us.“If people aren’t viewing God as present with them, it’s much easier to picture Him as a higher power than a Father who loves His children.” — @LizzyHaseltine Click To Tweet
How do we stop the pattern?
Here are five practical ideas to encourage your congregation that God cares about their daily choices.
1. Challenge them to evaluate their beliefs
If members of your congregation haven’t seen God working in their lives, challenge them to check themselves. Do they believe God’s Word to be true?
If not, press them to ask tough questions to get answers on their faith. Challenge them to talk to God about the good, the bad, and the ugly. When believers don’t ask these questions or explore them aloud, the enemy’s whisper of lies becomes louder.
Pray for God to convict their hearts and show them who He is. Trusting in God’s Word is the foundation of believers’ hope in Him. Your congregation’s understanding of how much God cares about their daily lives begins with their beliefs about Him.
As Paul reminds Timothy, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16, CSB).
2. Speak about God’s unchanging character and nature
Since the beginning of the world, God has only had the best in mind for humanity. He is a good and holy God who wants a relationship with His children so much that He sent His only Son to die for their sins.
Have you spoken of God’s love recently in a sermon? Focused on His steadfastness?
People need to hear of God’s goodness—especially in a day and age that often views God only as one who judges and condemns.
When people realize God is against their sin—not them as a person—they may begin to trust Him with their choices.“When people realize God is against their sin—not them as a person—they may begin to trust Him with their choices.” — @LizzyHaseltine Click To Tweet
David writes, “The LORD is good and upright; therefore he shows sinners the way. He leads the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (Psalm 25:8-9, CSB).
3. Help church members understand they’re not alone—that God walks with them
When Jesus ascended to prepare a place for believers in heaven, He didn’t leave future generations to navigate life alone without direction. Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to live within believers as a guide.
Paul says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).
As a pastor, you’re in a position to teach people about the freedom that comes from being purified by Jesus’ righteousness. You get to walk alongside your church members in the best experience of their lives—their faith in God.
Build personal relationships with your members (and equip other leaders to do the same) to help them see the role the Holy Spirit can have in their lives if they allow Him to work.
Faith is a journey of discovering numerous truths about God and how He views His children. While God doesn’t change, your congregation will. Recognize many members’ perceptions of God have changed as they’ve matured in their relationships with God. In time, erroneous ideas or lies from the devil will be unveiled as the believer continues to seek the living God.
You have the honor of holding their hand on the journey.
4. Encourage your church to not give up on God
If some of your congregation is in a spiritual rut or feels like they haven’t heard from God in a long time, invite them to look at their personal effort. A relationship with God is a two-way street, just like any earthly relationship. If you don’t talk to a friend often, will you recognize their voice when they call?
The same goes with God.
Paul also says, “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ” (Romans 10:17, CSB).
It takes time and effort to get to know Him well. Teach your congregation to treat God not just as their Savior but as a friend who wants to know the details of their lives—whether it’s the struggles of motherhood, that first date, or the challenges of having a parent with declining health.“Teach your congregation to treat God not just as their Savior but as a friend who wants to know the details of their lives.” — @LizzyHaseltine Click To Tweet
He cares, so it’s important for His children to spend time with Him.
5. Call on your church to intentionally seek God in obedience
Although the Holy Spirit gives all Christians unlimited access to Himself, believers may not notice when He speaks. If they’re focused on their circumstances, unmet expectations, or just “too busy” to talk to God, it can be easy to make Him an afterthought or put Him out of earshot.
James calls believers to “draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8, CSB).
You don’t always see something when you’re not actively looking for it. God may speak through other people, circumstances, answers to prayer, or the Bible. These interactions can help your congregation make daily decisions that honor God.
Dare your congregation to notice the ways God provides for them and loves them. Encourage them to say a prayer while they brush their teeth or turn to Scripture before their phone in the mornings.
And do it with them. Openly tell your congregation about an encouraging word from a friend or a small answered prayer that shows how you’ve noticed God working in your life. Give the glory to God, and make sure your church hears how God values each of them, too. He’s in the tiniest details of their lives.
Prayerfully consider whether to take these ideas to your congregation, and ask God to open your church members’ hearts to believe He cares about their decisions daily.
For permission to republish this article, please email Marissa Postell Sullivan.
Lizzy is a content writer for non-profit ministries. For the past five years, she has traveled the world to tell stories of how God is moving.