I Love the Church, But…

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The church is God’s idea.  Not mine.  Not yours.  Not religious leaders.  No, the church is God’s idea.  I respect and appreciate what God was doing in Scripture as he reveals to all of us what he has in mind for a church.  What wears me out though, is the church.  No, not the church as God designed.  I’m talking about the church that human beings have often shaped in their own image.  I get tired of this church.  This isn’t anything recent.  In fact, I have noticed for many, many years that the following seems to drain me of energy.  What about you?

1.  I get tired of the church that protects forms and forgets the functions that were intended by God.

2.  I get tired of the church that allows the vocal minority to handcuff the rest of the church. 

3.  I get tired of the church that still sees the church as sectarian (the only right bunch) and then seems chagrined that people from the community are offended at this.

4.  I get tired of the church that has its meetings, its committees, its special programs, and doesn’t seem to realize this endless activity is no indicator that we know Jesus or are displaying him in our lives.

5.  I get tired of the church that drags its feet, moving along with no sense of urgency.  This is the church that eventually extinguishes the dreams of its people.  This is done not through malice but through neglect and passivity.

 

I mention these not to place blame on anyone.  I do think that if we are not careful, we can easily slip into any one (or more) of the five characteristics I have just described.  We do not have to settle for this.  We do have to pay attention to what God desires as revealed in the BIble.

 

Let me suggest to you that there is another way of coming at this that produces energy and hope.  I get energized when I see God at work among his people.

 

1.  I get energized by men and women whose love for Jesus has caused them to repent, worship, and serve God without self-consciousness.  They just don’t care what others think.

2.  I get energized by dreamers!  Men and women who see a need and connect that need with their gifts.

3.  I get energized by women and men who are passionate about what God wants to do in this world!  Men and women who love God relentlessly and who have a real thirst to experience all that Jesus is.

4.  I get energized by people who remember our mission.  People, like my friend at lunch today, who are committing money to China this year.  I loved hearing him talk about how his whole family meets together every year to decide where they would be sending some of their money for the year.

5.  I get energized by people who want to risk and dare to trust God to take care of his people and his mission.

Tired of the church?  Yes.  But I’m not tired of what God is doing through his people.  I just don’t want to settle.  When I do, something will have died in me.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “I Love the Church, But…

  1. Jim,

    I have been reading your blog every day for months but have never commented until today. Thank you for voicing my frustration with the church as man runs it.I pray for the day when Christians will stand up and stand strong for their faith. I also long for the day when the walls of seperation inside the body of Christ will be knocked down. I sense a real kinship with you through your writings and want to encourage you to continue to point out the things you do.
    May God bless you and your family.

    Keith Reid

  2. What an awesome buch of truths you have spoken here. How I long for the day when we get out of the way and allow God to work in us. I too love dreamers who are willing to take whatever the risk involves to have a relationship with God that is immovable and with others that doesn’t intimidate them, but causes them tosee Jesus. Great BLOG!

  3. You said a LOT today, Jim! I recently wrote a blog about my disdain for church programs and how they not only substitute for what the Holy Spirit desires to do in and through us, but are no indication that Jesus is living in us.
    Always enjoy your blogs even if I don’t always respond.

  4. Thanks Jim. Being older, in some ways one (I speak for myself here) can lose the right idealism due to all the fog that can go on in church.

    But we need by God’s help to rekindle that fire knowing it’s God’s work, no less.

    Thanks for sharing your good thoughts and perspective with us. Good points and reminders also.

  5. Jim, I pray that God will bless you and the church you serve as you endeavor to implement these values there. And, most important, may his kingdom be enlarged and his name be glorified.

    Too bad you’re not in Portland, Oregon – you sound like a pastor I’d like to work with and learn from.

  6. If the church could get by the #2 and #3 on the list we would have much more success in saving souls.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and perspective with us.

  7. Thanks Jim for putting this out there. I actually just typed in my search “Tired of my church” and saw this and it gave me a whole new outlook on how I should look at things. Thanks so much…I will continue to catch your blog.