Ahh, the wonders of Facebook. One of my social media pals came across an interesting piece from a minister in the USA who lists 12 reasons why her church may not be the church for you. I can’t help but agree with her on nearly all 12 reasons. If you want to see the original, pop over here.
I, too am completely overwhelmed with all the literature, programs, statistics and products aimed at fitting the church for the world, when really my heart is telling me that the church, although in the world is not be of the world.
We are called to be a people who are set free from the patterns of this world; patterns that oppress and enslave. We’re about abundant life; love; grace; mercy – and I’ve yet to see a business empire embody those values.
I don’t have a hard-headed, business attitude to life – and so I don’t want to belong to an organisation that tells me I should – if I want to grow and develop. Does that mean then that the church is destined to remain small and dwindling until it disappears altogether? Hmmn, somehow I doubt it. After all, in some of the poorest lands on earth, Christianity, (and therefore the church), is growing at break-neck speed. Amongst the poor and disenfranchised the message is striking home. People are offering worship to God and praising Jesus; yet we, in the affluent, dare-I-say-it?-yes-I-will, spoilt, West are too bound up with worshiping ourselves. It’s all about, what I want; what’s best for me? Well, a church built on those principals is a church I, for one can do without.
So maybe the time has come to start celebrating the smallness of our churches. Celebrating the fact that, within our walls each Sunday, are small groups of wonderful, subversive, counter-cultural people who follow the One who came to change our world because it desperately needs changing.
We need to turn the tables; to scatter the proud and haughty; cast down the mighty; lift up the lowly; fill the hungry and send away the rich. Of course church isn’t for everyone. Who’d be brave enough to join us? Would you?