Lately I have been so frustrated with the lack of vision in churches today. I am most of the way through George Barna's new book 'Revolution' where he talks about a new way of doing church where people who are radically sold out for the message of Jesus are beginning to do ministry, fellowship, discipleship, and evangelism apart from the local church. At first read I didn't quite agree with him, and maybe still don't totally, because I am a huge proponent of the local church. But as I spend more and more time in churches, including my own, I am more and more frustrated with the way things are run and become extremely doubtful and cynical about the capability of most churches to actually impact the world.
Why are we so worried about appeasing everyone? Heaven forbid someone is not comfortable with every single aspect of corporate worship. Is that really our goal and vision? To simply massage people's emotions? To make them feel good and happy and comfortable each Sunday morning? As I study the book of Acts, the early church was anything but comfortable, and when they were, the leaders would reprimand them. They were stretched. They were challenged. They were taken outside their comfort zones. We are so worried about appeasing the people who are already in our church that we completely ignore both the people leaving our church and the people attending no church at all.
May we be people of better vision that that. Let's quit massaging egos long enough to make disciples. Let's quit thinking that church is what happens on Sunday morning. Let's quit thinking that church is what happens at a certain place with a certain group of people. Let's stop basing church on our own opinions rather than the life-changing Word of the Living God, the Creator of the Universe.