If you are discouraged about church . . .


Discouraged about Church
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If you are discouraged about church, it may be that your expectations are too high.

Church is not a gathering of the mature. Church is not a gathering of the wise. Church is not a gathering of the beautiful.

Church is a gathering of those who have been redeemed by Jesus Christ.

A long while back (it was the 70’s, I think), there was a popular phrase going around in churches that said, “Please be patient with me, God is not finished with me yet.” The point was to remind us that we are all works in progress.

Not only are those who attend church works in progress, but so are the leaders. The question is not whether the leaders are flawed. The question what are they doing about those flaws? Or more correctly, what are they allowing God to do about those flaws?

Does the leader of your church allow others to speak into his blind spots? Do the elders encourage members and visitors to provide feedback? Does the pastor give a sense that God is actively working in his life to transform his understanding and his behavior?

At all times, we have to keep in mind that the way we want church to be is not necessarily what God wants for us. God is less interested in our comfort than he is in our growth in relationship to him.

Also, our background and gifting may see things in the church that should be changed, but the church may not be ready for those changes. Do you trust God enough to bring about those changes in his time? Will you be content to pray for those changes until he does bring them about?

There is a caveat that I should bring up. The understanding that we are a work in progress does not give us an excuse for spiritual or intellectual laziness. The fact that there are so many commands in the New Testament (verbs in the imperative mood) is an indication that effort on our part is required to achieve progress in the Christian life.

We come to church and find imperfection and by being there we add to the pile.

But that is OK. God is powerful enough to use our imperfection to accomplish his plan.

The point of church is not to parade our perfections, but to solicit the help of others as we navigate our own imperfections. We help and encourage our brothers and sisters along the way.