Would the Real Church please stand up?
In our finite way of thinking, we often decide we know how God works. We attempt to create boxes and we invite Him in if we get around to it. One such box is our church box.
Many of us believe that if a church is too large, God cannot possibly reach the one-in-one-thousand sitting in the crowd. We seem to forget about Christ’s teaching and ministering to 5,000 and the Day of Pentecost where 3,000 were added to His Church. Others of us secretly believe that if a church is too small or is a small group meeting in homes, something must be wrong because God isn’t causing the church group to bust at the seams. We have spiritual amnesia in regards to Christ’s one small group – 12 disciples; 3 who were really close to Him.
Others of us focus on denomination believing one is more “saved” than the others. We judge a church on how often they hold services or the type of music they play and which songs they sing. We judge rich churches saying God isn’t pleased because wealth represents greed. Then, out of the same mouth, we talk about poor churches believing they should just close their doors because Jesus has left the building.
I’m glad God doesn’t think like us, judge like us, or act like us. The only limitation on God is within our minds when we decide we have Him all figured out and believe we’ve captured the market on good church practices. We decide we know exactly what the rest of the world needs, including the spiritually lost world, and we tell God how to fix “them.”
Truthfully, the purpose of Christ’s Church is to make more disciples. Once we’ve brought a new person into our church body, our job is to equip them to go out and make more disciples. Instead, we’ve turned church into a place of charisma and comfort. We enjoy entertainment while forgetting the call to evangelism. We search for a church where we feel we belong instead of seeing our church as a pit stop for spiritual empowerment that allows us to go out and make more disciples.
Most of us seek groups that look like us and think like us. All the while, we demand the world’s attention and make every effort to force them to think like us even if it requires legislation. You know – Jesus was born, lived, was crucified, died, and rose again on the third day to make the world politically righteous, right?
We’ve played church consumer for so long, we don’t even realize we do it. We’ve stepped so deeply into the moral police patrol that we failed to remember evangelism is our calling; not to be an evangelical voter.
Christ’s Church isn’t about how many people are present or how many are happy with the Sunday morning programs and performances. Christ’s Church is more about people’s openness to God’s presence and learning how to fulfill His purpose – to make disciples.
We should attend church every now and then, report to our mission field daily, worship Him constantly and pray without ceasing. That’s the Real Church.