Thinking a lot about church lately. Yeah, I know – it’s my job. But I’m thinking more in terms of reformation and growth. You know, what we’re really supposed to be…and be about. At our church, we’re in a place where we’re re-thinking how things are done – What’s important. What’s NOT important.
I find that much of what we do (read: churches in America) provides little that is actually transformative in a person’s life (I understand that could be an overstatement). We do it simply because we always have. No one has ever stopped to actually ask, “Does this really make a difference?” Unfortunately, somewhere down the line, those things have become sacred. I mean, we’re clearly told in Scripture what the church is supposed to be about, but we’re given no specific instruction on how the church is supposed to specifically go about it. I think the reason we’re not told specifics of how we’re to function is because of the organic nature the church was designed to be. To put it simply, we’re to function simply. We’re supposed to be able to quickly adjust to the changing nature of the world so we can most effectively communicate the unchanging message that Christ is in the business of resurrection. We talked last night at Downpour how miraculous it is for someone to come to Christ. It is nothing less than someone who is dead coming to life. That’s miraculous. It’s the work the church is called to engage in…introducing people to Him and watching Him do His work in them. I’m afraid we’ve become so institutional that we fail to even understand where people are and are even less equipped to help them.
I am convinced that so much that people call essential for the church simply isn’t. We tend to try and do so many things, mostly badly, instead of finding the most important things and doing them exceptionally. Our churches are packed full of mediocre programs and burnt out people. What if we said “no” to a whole bunch of stuff (I’m talking programs, classes, pot-luck lunches, whatever), but looked at those few things that really led people into a deep relationship with God, with each other and gave opportunities for them to make an impact on the world. What if we put all our energy into those few things? Instead, we’re tired. We’re “there every time the door is open.” Funny, nobody ever says that with a smile on their face. Wonder why? Could it be that the door is open too often? That sounds heretical, doesn’t it? Don’t tell anybody I suggested it. But maybe if we could focus on the most important, life-changing things we would actually look forward to those things. I know that Christ brings joy and satisfaction and excitement to life. His church should, too, shouldn’t it? I’m afraid too often we know what we need to do, we just lack the courage to move in that direction. Change is a fearful (and sometimes fearsome!) thing. Trust me, I know!
So, what do you think? Is church something you look forward to or do you read this and hunger for something more like what I’m describing; something that actually adds meaning and purpose to your life; something you can’t wait to be a part of? Am I way off base? Or maybe you have had this kind of experience, either good or bad. Please share it with me…I’d love to learn from it.