Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Superior Church

I've got a bit of a bone to pick. Before I go any further, though, I have to clarify. I love church. I love the worship, I love the friendships made there, I love the sermons, I love teaching the kids, I love the potlucks, the weeknight Bible studies...I love the whole kit-n-caboodle. Maybe that's why I so often get perturbed about this particular topic. Really, what would there be to be disgruntled about if I didn't like it anyway?

My bone to pick is this: many congregations think they're superior to all the others in some way or another. Most people are there because they are with people who believe like them, think like them, even act like them. They're comfortable in that place. That's okay to be comfortable. But what bothers me is that in our comfort...we oftentimes get to thinking we're BETTER than those OTHER churches (and hence, the people in them).

This isn't even about whose beliefs are the most correct. I've spent a lot of time in a lot of different denominations and in all honesty, every single one has it's strengths and it's weaknesses as far as what they believe. Despite my own obsessive quest for truth, I certainly don't have it all figured out either. This bone picking is about ATTITUDE.

When we get comfortable right where we're at and develop the attitude that our preacher is the only one who teaches the truth and our congregation is just where we should stay because they have got it figured out, maybe at that moment, we're too comfortable. Our attitude loses it's humility and our growth becomes stagnant.

When we put the shoe on the other foot, also fits. We probably shouldn't go around church hopping. It is good to stay in one place, stick it out with one core body of believers and grow with them. That's the clincher right there...the growing part. Everywhere I go, it seems like the church is stuck. People are just comfortable and it seems they've got it all figured out. In general, we've got our nice homes, our nice families, our beautiful buildings to congregate in. We've got friends who are pleasant and jobs that are pleasant. Life is good. What is there to be concerned about? We go to church, worship, hear a sermon, chit-chat a little...maybe over a meal, and get on with our lives. The depth is gone. Our Christianity has insulated us and brought into our lives an air of superiority. Some contentment is good, but we are strangers in a strange land and our home is not of this world. DIScontentment should be weighing on us, at least a little.

There really isn't a right or wrong's different for each of us.

Maybe it's time we take some risks, step out of that comfort zone and tear down some insulation. Learn something new. Pray something new. Do something difficult. Seek something greater. The destination is not worldly, so it is impossible to fully arrive. The whole process is about getting a taste, just enough to wet our whistles and make us thirst for more!

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