Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm Positive About The Church!

3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. — Romans 6:3–4 (NASB95)
The only omnicompetent Executive chose Simon Peter--a man of great strengths and glaring weaknesses--to lead his fledgling church. – Kenneth B. Quick, Leadership, Vol. 11, no. 3.
I hear lots of people who are down on the church. If you’re looking for somebody who is going to deny that the church deserves lots of criticism, don’t look at me. Frankly, the church has done some bone-headed things. We often talk a much better game than we play, we’re often way too critical of people, there isn’t always much to admire about us, and we fail quite regularly at pretty much everything.

So why would anybody be interested in church? Recently, I told some folks that if I were not already a Christian I doubt that I would be much interested in becoming one. My reason? Most of what I hear about church is sadly negative. Let’s face it, if the very people who make up the church don’t think much of it, then why in the world would I want to be a part of it. It’s like people are saying, “The church is the most pitiful, awful thing in the world. Come on over and join us!” No thanks!

We need a different way of thinking about church. Nobody is suggesting that we deny and ignore our faults, mistakes or failings. But it’s time we focus on why church is a good idea and why it’s worth investing ourselves in it. First, the church is made up of people who have been forgiven of their sins. I didn’t say it was made up of people who don’t sin, I said it’s made up of forgiven people. Even the church gets that one mixed up at times. Second, we’re not only forgiven, we’re the people who are being changed, whose lives are being reformatted and prepared for something eternal. It’s the church that God is working in and through in marvelous ways. People would be worse without the church!

We don’t always get things right. But the great thing about God’s grace is that he won’t give up on us. We should be way more positive about the church. It’s always been populated by failing people. That includes you and me. We need a better focus on what we should be and can be, not what we have been or even what we are today.