The Church in Adolescence

Time_cover_2I spoke with a special friend on Tuesday afternoon.  Another minister, in another city, in another state.  I like my friend.  He is one of those people who I’ve known for years, yet rarely see.  When talking on the telephone, we can reconnect in a matter of minutes.  The other day, we talked about a kind of church that frustrates and concerns us both.  Today, a phrase came to mind that describes what we were talking about.

We were talking about a church stuck in spiritual adolescence.

You know what I’m talking about.  There are people who just don’t seem to be maturing.  Some of the signs?

  • Discovering grace and concluding that it means you really don’t have to go to church much anymore and you can now do the things that you used to think were wrong.
  • Wanting church to be relevant but snoozing when there is a call to obedience and following Jesus.
  • Insisting that God has blessed us financially while our offering on Sunday is only a tiny portion of what we spent at restaurants, movies, trips, etc. earlier that week.
  • Wanting church to be less challenging, less demanding etc. In the meantime, we complain of our boredom.
  • Complaining about everything and then sitting back, passively waiting for someone else to fix it.

Much more attractive is the Jesus style.  He calls us to follow him into a life of adventure.  This is a life that knows the tenderness of Jesus but then may also become acquainted with suffering for the sake of the Gospel.  This is a life of change, where we are headed somewhere.  We are maturing in Christ, not content to be adolescents forever.

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