I want to spend some time this week talking about the church. After preaching this Sunday on , "How The Church Works", which is part of our Sunday Series, "Howstuffworks", I would like to take a deeper look into how the church works.
What do I have to do with it? Well the bottom line is everything. When we talk about the church we should be talking about ourselves. Something that I have learned over the years is how to determine who I listen to and who I don't listen to so much. (Notice I didn't say ignore) But the bottom line is this. When someone walks up to be with a complaint or gripe I have to measure what they are saying based on the answer to this question. "Are they a part of this church or not?"
You see, when you gripe about the church you are griping about the people. Not the organization, not the heirarchy, not the programs or anything else. The church is people - the Christians who believe that this is where God has called them to serve Him. Now that isn't to say that those things I've listed don't come under criticism, because they do. But we tend not to be so "gripy" when we are talking about ourselves. You see, if you are part of the church, when you criticize it you have to accept as much blame as anyone else.
Our sense of individuality sometimes leads us to the belief that we have the "right" to get what we want. Individuality has to be placed in the hand of Christ, who in turn takes it and uses it uniquely to serve His Kingdom. But if we instead use our individuality to serve ourselves, then we are doomed to change the church into our image. And then we still will not be happy.