The church has a lot going for it. And, it has a lot a lot a lot of room for improvement. That's why all of us will want to be on our toes to learn and grow and improve in the kingdom style. When I was in my younger days I caught myself making a big mistake. I got down on the church. I had a lot of company. That seemed to support my error and cause increased blindness as well as frustration.
Here's what I wasn't getting. If I had such vision to see what the church could/should be then why wasn't I doing something about it? I don't know how I saw this glaring flaw in myself. I don't remember if an elder or another friend or the Word pointed it out, but it was there. I pass it on to you.
Anybody can be critical. Anybody can talk a big talk about ideals. But deep intentional faith stares into the abyss of discouraging settings as well as negative individuals and believes life can arise from such rubble. Critics who complain that the church doesn't do enough or reach far enough usually don't do enough or reach far enough to lead others by faith. It's a cheap shot to crab because the church isn't spiritually minded enough. It's a faith leap to believe God could help us change us.
That's why I don't run away from the church. I'm as flawed as the next guy. I see plenty of things to be critical about in the church and in me. But I see with resurrection-power eyes and believe God can put life into even cemeterially bound churches.
So don't be too vocal about how bad the church is without your voice as to how you believe the people can rally. Any dog can bark at a passing car. Anybody can bark at a church and its leadership. I decided I wanted to see one succeed and it was me that needed to repent. I want to do more than note our blemishes. I want to inspire to successes. Anybody can see what's wrong. Only faithful followers can see how God would put life into such a mess.
Yes, I see the church not perfect. After all, I'm in it. I see a mountain range of needed improvement. The church cannot afford for us to live in denial. The truth is I live able to know there is another side to the coin. I also see our Living Lord who has yet to be stumped by anything and anyone. Our hope is in Him. Such sure hope runs deep....and wide....and long....and strong. We will follow His direction. We will not lose heart. We will note we need to make incredible improvement. But the good news is we don't have to run to a greener grassed pasture to get it done.
You see something lacking in the church? Lead out in hope. We will not only believe in God, but we will continue to believe in His people.
Tired of church sluggishness? Not in 31 years at Memorial! Just getting started!