Signs That Your Church Doesn’t Get It…
Didn’t really assign these any value in terms of “ranking.” Just posted them as they came to my mind. I am certain that some of these points will probably offend but that’s not my intent. My real hope is to engender some serious, prayerful thought about some of our current trends and practices. Bottom line? Not trying to throw mud. Just want to bring about real and substantial change.
Signs that your church doesn’t get it…
1. You spend more time collecting the offering than gathering prayer requests. Always been confused by the emphasis on monetary need. Particularly when it comes at the expense of real human need. If the Lord truly is our provider, why not trust Him with our finances and spend the little time we have together actually tending to His sheep?
2. Outreach and evangelism are always spoken about in the past tense. It’s easy to become consumed by the “us 4 and no more” mentality. Let’s face it, reaching out is hard and messy work. It’s a whole lot easier to just play church and ignore the lost and dying world that surrounds us. Besides, they know where to find us if they want to come, right?
3. Your messages are filled with culture references but void of the Cross. Yeah, I know. That just “turned off” a whole bunch of people. But last time I checked Paul only preached one thing. Remember? “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” It’s quite possible that we can spend so much time trying to appeal to the lost that we lose sight of the central message. Without the Cross we really have no good news.
4. You think that being dogmatic is actually a good thing. I know this will be hard for some people to accept but even pastors can be wrong. No, I didn’t say the Bible. The Bible is right but our interpretations and opinions will always be subject to the limits of our fallen natures. Sad that we are still fighting so strenuously over major issues like styles of worship and charismatic expressions. Not saying we all have to agree but it would be nice if we could just love one another in spite of the differences.
5. You assign more value to your programs than your people. What is a church if it’s not the people? Let your programs come and go. Make your emphasis the people who actually sit in the pews (or chairs). Whatever happened to visitation? Phone calls? Reaching out to people who were sick and hurting? If people and their needs are really that much of a bother, maybe you should consider changing careers.
6. The Bible has become a resource material instead of your source of guidance. If you’re not preaching, teaching, and living the Word, what are you doing? Seriously. If the Bible is nothing more than a list of suggestions that we can dismiss or embrace based on our own present whims, than why even bother. Believe it or don’t. But stop using a black permanent marker to edit the parts that you don’t like. Holiness, sanctification, righteousness are still important… even if they make us uncomfortable.
Well, that’s it for now. Sorry, found myself in one of those moods tonight and thought I would vent. I have never been one to claim that the church is perfect. It’s not. And it never will be (not on this side of eternity). There is and always will be room for growth and improvement. But far too often we focus on transitory, temporal change and surrender the things of true value. We live in an age when it’s becoming increasingly hard to tell the difference between the church and a club. For me personally, that’s not a problem as long as the Message doesn’t get lost along the way. (I’m all for loud music, dancing, and good food.) But in the final analysis we are surrounded by a lost and dying world that desperately needs to hear the message of grace and redemption. If our efforts and energy become consumed by any other endeavour, than yes, we just don’t get it any more.
If you got a few minutes, let me know what you think. Would love to hear your own ideas. Take care and God bless.