Monday, April 23, 2007

Church


Note From Arlene: Barry decided that this was an issue that should be addressed, so here is his very first blog. If he keeps this up, we will give him his own blogspot! Enjoy!


I was sitting thinking about my current church situation or lack thereof. We’ve been to a couple of different churches and were able to experience the way most churches are.

Having been in church 46 of my 50 years, I have become very accustomed to the way things are done.

In the last 2 years, my eyes have been opened to a new way of doing things. I look back on my married life and have been taught the act of morphing or a simple way of putting it is CHANGE! When I first got married Arlene was always changing the placement of the furniture. It’s a good thing that I didn’t drink because I would have been sitting on the floor more than the couch she changed it so often.

Looking back, her actions have allowed me to view change as a good thing! Sadly, the church world has not changed nearly as drastically as life, nor has it tried to keep up with changes.

While sitting at lunch, Arlene & I were talking about some of the churches we’ve tried and how none of them seem to draw me.

Easter Sunday morning I was hoping to see a church that was excited about the resurrection of Christ, but the service was very subdued thus causing me great sadness. While talking to Arlene the thought hit me; I know why so many people turn to sin. At least it entices or allures people unlike the church. Unfortunately, the church has lost its salt. It doesn’t draw people, not as God had intended. So who failed, God or the church? Beyond a doubt, it is the church. The church is content with status quo. It is not willing to stand up to the task of changing. It’s much easier to set back and dream of what used to be. Shame on us for not being willing to stand up to the task of reaching the next generation. Sometimes I see the church in the parable of a man traveling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one. The one given five talents multiplied, as did the one with two, however, the one with only one talent did not.

Where have we as a church multiplied what God has given us? Any thoughts on this?

9 comments:

Sara said...

i think you guys know my thoughts on this; my blog tomorrow is already written and it kind of attaches on to this one. it begs the question; does the church exist to please the christian or to draw the lost? and should not the drawing of the lost please the christian? even if your favorite song isn't sung by your favorite singer and in your favorite style? it's something i continually check myself on. if we are to be salt and light, i think the church has become too bland. great thoughts barry.

Arlene said...

Thanks Sara, can't wait to read yours tomorrow!

Debra said...

Part of the change that is needed is in how we understand/see the church. There is a renewing in the spirit of the mind that is needed. What is the attitude of the mind concerning church? Do we see(understand) the church as an organization with a building as the Pharisees, Sadducees, religious crowd did when Jesus walked upon the earth? Or do we see(understand) the church to be an organizm, a living, breathing creation of God our Father, created, birthed through His Son, Jesus? Do we understand that church is the body of Christ with Jesus being the Head of it? Do we understand that each child of God, born again by His Spirit, is a part of His body, each having his or hers own unique calling and function within His body? Do we understand that we are members of His body individually and together make up the whole body of Christ? Do we understand that when one member of the body suffers, we all suffer, when one member of the body rejoices, we all rejoice? Do we understand that the church is about relationship and that our labor is to come out of the relationship and return again to relationship? Do we understand that relationship is where the fruit is and that fruit is what the Father looks for? Do we understand that we all have gifts and talents given to us by God our Father that orperate whether we are walking according to the dictates of the flesh or are walking according to the Spirit? Do we understand that gifts are given and are to be used, are to be developed as part of who we are but fruit is grown? Do we understand that fruit is the product of relationship with Him, that comes through abiding with Him on a day by day, moment by moment, 24/7 living with Him? Do we understand that fruit is the product of growth, where we are continually being changed into His image? Do we understand that there are stages of growth in our relationship with Him? Do we understand that we begin as newborn babes and grow to maturity? Do we understand that we go from faith to faith, strength to strength, glory to glory? Do we understand who we belong to and are in Christ? Do we understand that In Him is Life and that Life is the Light of men? Do we understand that man looks at the outward things but God looks at the heart? Do we understand that He calls us to follow Him, to die to self daily? Do we understand that it's not organized church with all it's religious ways and words that we seek for, commune with, co-labor with, but a person who is alive.

Arlene said...

Very thought provoking Debra! You are so right.

Mrs. Mac said...

This is a thougt provoking entry ... Good job Barry for shedding some light on today's sad state of the American church. We attend a very large church that has lots of youth and recovery type programs ... first time for me being is such a large church ... but to get connected, small groups are necessary. They offer a class for my special needs child on Sunday morning ... also, my newly married daughter and her hubby attend ... and I want to encourage them in their walk ... church is definately different that when I grew up in the Catholic "religion" and sang in the children's choir ... (in Latin). Change in church is Ok ... as long as God's Word remains the same.

Pat said...

Good post Barry. The older you are the more resistant to change you become - you just want what "was" comfortable to you. There are churches that minister to that need, the desire to keep things as they always were, but I don't see alot of growth or newly saved in that environment. I guess there is room for everyone, but I think that if you're going to draw the lost and not just please a few, you need to meet more needs. Though lifestyles and times change - the word of God remains unchanging. We must be mindful not to become so user friendly that we no longer see the cross, but that the cross is what draws us.

Mike said...

I would take it further and say the church was never designed to draw the lost, but to actually be poured out as salt ON them. Church is about a people who live in the reality of the Kingdom of God and move forward to collide and transform the kingdoms of this world--translating truth--redeeming life.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

Interesting post! I agree. We as members of the body are the church, and the pastoral staff in is here to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, but some have become social clubs, some are like cemetaries, some are resistant to change. I agree the American Church needs a change.

We know the problem, what is the solution? Personal revival? I hope I can affect someone every day to want to know Christ, to see something in me that is different, that draws them to Him. I am not sure what the total answer is, but maybe I can play a small part by striving to be more and more like Him.

Pat said...

Hey, get busy and write a new post!