It’s the same story. They are a dime a dozen. Everywhere you look people aren’t satisfied with their churches and they are looking for that one perfect church. Church members that have filled the pews of their church for 40 years get a new pastor and bam…they are jumping ship. “He’s not a great speaker!”, “They don’t sing enough hymns”, “They did away with Sunday School”, “No one dresses up here anymore” , “They are getting rid of the organ from 1912″, and the excuses go on as if the waiter did not bring the right meal.
If it’s too personal I apologize. I am not thinking of a specific church. These are the excuses I have heard from people leaving their churches over the years. I have to say it’s a shame!
There is a common thread that runs through each heart of those who have spoken or who are currently speaking these phrases. The common thread……”ME!” These complaints aren’t rooted in the centrality of the gospel. They are rooted in me & my preferences. I prefer Sunday School, or I prefer hymns, or I like dressing up, or I love that organ. When has church ever become about me and what I want?
So what do we do? What do we need? Is there a cure? Well, actually there is but sadly enough people won’t take me up on this prescription for healthy church relationships. Why? Because it is the hardest thing to do in the world although we are told to do it daily.
Paul says it this way;
“20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ”
Maybe that’s how Paul lived but Jesus never said I was to deny my desires, opinions, and preferences…or did He? Decide for yourself.
Luke 9:23 (ESV)
23 And He said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”
Ok I guess He did. He said if I am going to be following Him I must deny myself. That is not just bad sins my friend. That is giving preference for others as well. It’s realizing that methods change through the years. Culture changes. Things change. One thing that should not change is the fact that we are called to deny ourselves.
One of the biggest sins in the church (which I will blog about soon) is the fact that confession has been tossed out as just a personal thing and pride keeps the body of Christ at arms length from one another. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that we are so self consumed when that’s they way the world is. In my mind and in my own expectations the church is the one safe place where it is okay to be different from the world. In the workplace or anywhere else you look it’s always about me, me, me, and what I can get. But the church? Come on people! It ought not to look like that!
It’s time for us to lead the charge and be about others. Read what Paul says in Phil. 2
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
As you go throughout your day today make it your goal to be about others. Jesus served others and when we are more like Jesus we also will be serving others and loving others rather than ourselves. Just some food for thought today! ~