Wednesday, 04 March 2009
Once again I've found myself unhappy with church in general. I realize it's mostly my fault, because in everything there's reason for complaint, and who better to criticize than church, right? But no human-institution can ever be perfect, and truthfully, if I'm complaining about the church, shouldn't that put me in the place to offer my help? After all, if I see a problem, perhaps I'm the one whom God wanted to see the problem.
I just don't feel like my church is offering anything to the flock. All we have are the Sunday gatherings, a recovery ministry, and the coffee house. One of my favorite sermons is Mark Driscoll's "Air War and Ground War." He makes the comment that some churches have a great Air War, meaning sermons and radio/TV broadcasts, while others conduct an excellent Ground War through their small groups, events, and classes. A truly effective church should have a good balance of both; when one of the fronts is lacking, the body suffers. My church may have a decent Air War...but for over a year they seem to have forgotten at some point, they need to land.
October of 2006 I was getting back to Jesus and was ready to join a small group, but my church leaders felt God pulling them away from the Ground War because their focus was almost entirely there. I can understand that, and don't fault them, but they promised only a year of this deficit. In that time I went church-shopping, yet wasn't peaceful anywhere else. Given that I never cared for the worship team, was disenchanted by the lack of small groups and classes, and generally always left to the walls among these somewhat cold and distant parishioners, I felt God wanted me here at this church. So I came back.
Still, I'm frustrated, and don't mean to criticize my church, though I know I am. Paul said we should respect our spiritual leaders, for these guys are going to answer for their work here, in a way greater than the average lay-person. So I do pray for my church leaders, that they have wisdom...eyes to see and ears to hear. Additionally, I recognize my criticism is only one of many things that cause division in the Body.
"Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them." Genesis 11:6, ESV
Though this verse applies to the incident in Babylonia, I feel that the principle applies nonetheless. In the case of this Tower, the people were working on a project that went against God's will; yet even in their arrogance, united, they could accomplish near anything. Yet, pertaining to unity in the Body, couldn't this verse also stand?
I've spoken before against division in the Church body among denominations, yet this verse serves tonight as a gentle admonition to me. Besides, in a grander perspective, I'm really just being a whiny American. Freedom of worship, freedom to gather, freedom to serve my God while buying $4 lattes.... Poor me, right?
I'm duly convicted. And repentant, and perhaps ready to think about sending an email to the church offering an idea for a small group theme...whenever they feel God is giving them the go-ahead.