Monday, August 27, 2012


I wonder.

I wonder how many things Jesus-in-his-flesh would do differently than we-in-his-spirit are trying to accomplish in the church.  If he were to walk in, what would he say about us and our formation to this point?

I feel sure he would applaud parts of our faith; for we do possess such in admirable effectiveness.  And, I would assume he would burn much of our wood, hay, and stubble ministries. 


One of the themes I feel like I must be a failure in is that of discipleship.  I make very feeble attempts.  I wish bigger than I produce.  Yet, I try.

It seems to me a weakness among us is that we have errantly vacated discipleship while yielding to a costly and unhealthy (in places) volunteerism.  A natural problem with volunteerism is that corrective training and maturing is usually not permitted. 

Our members tend to like what we like and that's as much as we intend to offer.  Development?  Not so much.  If challenged?  The marbles are quickly picked up while the offended either goes home or to a neighboring church where present inadequacy will be protected and propagated.

We have yet to find a sturdy discipleship program that trains.  Would you think Crossroads and the Boston Movement have biased our concept?

A church like Jesus builds will be one of instruction coupled with correction.  We basically don't do correction.  The fact that better no-how isn't available is not the problem.  Intake of rebuke has become socially illegal in our volunteer churches.

This is a mistake for preacher, for elder, for teacher, for servant, for member.  We cannot and will not mature in Jesus if the only places we serve are always patting us on the back.

I don't like not getting my way; yet this factor has been a valuable part of my walk in him.  It has helped me learn to proceed with hope rather than quit in disgust. 

A church that would look like the one Jesus is building will be one where we members of the body are willing to workout in the gym of conflict, struggle, and suffering.  Otherwise, we will always be a weak sort poised for retreat when tough admonition flies.

Having written this article I am no closer to understanding what needs to be done among us.  I can see that our present course is not building many healthy, vibrant, and multiplying churches in most locales.  I do see, though, hefty signs of desire and willingness to see us be the kind of place that looks like Jesus is our Leader.


Anonymous said...

"We cannot and will not mature in Jesus if the only places we serve are always patting us on the back."

So this would be the getting comfortable with the uncomforable we talk so often about? :) I can't say I've found myself in ministry where I am am being patted on the back, but I do find that I get to a place where I am so comfortable in what I'm doing that I forget what it is that I'm doing. Make sense?

TerryC said...

Maybe it's just me but this seems hard using a New Testament that includes both Romans 14 and 1st Corinthians 5. Is that it's a fine line between them, or that too many of us try to blur it?