Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. Ephesians 3:7-13
During my freshman year in college I became disillusioned with church. Now many young people become disillusioned when they get to college and suddenly encounter new ideas and face challenges to what they always believed. I was different, my problems with the church came not from new ideas I was exposed to at college, no, my problems were solely church related. I saw infighting over keeping or dismissing the new pastor. I saw hypocrisy as it related to the sermons. So I chose to go it on my own. Who needed the hassle? I had Jesus and I thought I needed nothing else. I was wrong.
There is a reason we have the church. At its best, it provides support to each of us and helps us mature as Christians. A good church will provide us with sound biblically based teaching. It will help us provide a safe environment for our children to learn the Word of God. As a group we can better weather the storm life throws at us. A church provides fellowship with other like minded believers. However the church can be perverted. When a church puts more emphases on entertaining than teaching it misses its mission. When the Word gives way to twelve step programs and turns to self improvement seminars it loosed its way.
We can turn our churches into battlegrounds rather than places of sanctuary. We can spend so much time fighting over the “color of the carpets’ issues that we not only lose our way but turn off seekers. When a church is at war with itself it shows to everyone who steps through the door. People come to church to seek peace not become involved in a struggle over minor issues.
God’s idea for the church is one all of us should strive for even though we will often miss the mark. We should all want to be challenged in our walk by the Word of God presented with love. I have often said that if I don’t feel uncomfortable at times during the year then the pastor is not doing his job. We need to be challenged and we need to feel uncomfortable when we sin. On our own we can be too comfortable with ourselves thinking all is ok with us. There is no perfect church. Just by my stepping through the door I guarantee it will be imperfect. But, when a group of us imperfect Christians get together, there too He is also.
Have a blessed day,