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Sunday, 26 May 2013

Church complainers and church hoppers

I want to start this by saying something that too often goes unsaid. 
Be careful who you listen to in your churches. 

If you know someone who is always critical about something - the building, the people, the leadership (or lack thereof), the temperature, the music or whatever else AND you entertain their complaints (you nod in agreement, smile or join in with your own judgments), you should be aware that 1) more than likely it will be you they are critical about next 2) the person complaining has yet to see what good God is doing and if they do recognize it they choose to ignore it and only emphasize the bad stuff or 3) you are assisting in driving those who hear the complaints and frustrations away from church (at least yours) and with God.  You are doing exactly what the enemy of our soul desires - NOT God. 

Every church has problems.  As CS Lewis says in Screwtape Letters, "What He wants of the layman in church is an attitude which may, indeed, be critical in the sense of rejecting what is false or unhelpful, but which is wholly uncritlcal in the sense that it does not appraise - does not waste time in thinking about what it rejects, but lays itself open in uncommenting, humble receptivity to any nourishment that is going." Uncommenting?  Humble?  Any nourishment that is going?

Easier said than done I know from experience but has there ever in the history of the church been a "perfect" church?  I've gone to a dozen or more churches in my lifetime and of every background and denomination from southern baptist to pentecostal to non-denominational and every church lacks... something. But the one thing I do know is that Christ was doing something in every church and if I wasn't convinced of that then it would have been time to leave myself.  At church 1 it was in the children's church and music program, church 2 had a fabulous youth group, at church 3 it was in the women's study and the use of their multi-media to get across the message, church 4 had fabulous worship and bible studies and church 5, a caring and sensitive pastor.  Church 6 was passionate about missions, church 7 loved to help the poor and church 8 felt more like a big family.  Every church is different, unique, special and every church can be used by God. 

If you are church hopping looking for the perfect church let me tell you, it simply isn't out there!  Unfortunately church hopping has become more of a profession than something needed when one moves to a new area.  I think people sometimes use it as an excuse not to get close to people or be held accountable for the sinful life they are leading but maybe I'm wrong. 

In summary - don't complain and don't church hop.  Go to church because you need it and because the church needs you.  Give more to the church than you believe is physically or fiscally possible. Be a part of a house group, serve in whatever way is needed and expect lots of problems.  The blessings will come because you kept your complaints to yourself and you stuck it out. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I think you really hit the nail on the head!