The Church has messed up in the past, it’s messed up today, and it will be messed up in the future, simply due to the fact that it’s made up by a bunch of imperfect people trying to be used by God to have an impact on the world.
Saying that, there are some things that I firmly believe the Church should never apologize for. Here are four of them.
1) Being “Too Big”
I’m confused by the term “megachurch.” If we’re willing to call a church with 2,000 in attendance “mega” while more than 230 million Americans find more fulfilling things to do on any given Sunday, we’ve set pathetically low goals for ourselves. “But I won’t know everybody,” you say. I doubt you know everybody in your 200 member church either. I’m convinced that a lot of Christians want their churches to stay small for the sake of convenience. Every church should be concerned about reaching more and more people for Jesus, like Matthew 28:19-20 commands us to do.
2) Talking About Uncomfortable Subjects
An awkward hush falls over the crowd every time a pastor mentions sex, drugs, divorce, and pornography. A favorite one of mine is doubt, which churches love to ignore or brush off with a simple “you just need to have more faith.” Psst! Even the strongest Christian has doubted their faith at one point or another, and they’re probably lying if they claim they haven’t. The Bible is full of them.
The fact is, people aren’t asking if you’re reformed, if you preach exegetically, or if you’re post-tribulation or pre-tribulation. We love to answer questions that nobody is asking. Don’t get me wrong. Deep Bible study is important, but we have to ask ourselves if what we are saying and what we’re known for even has a chance of being understood by people outside of the Church who are looking for a way in.
People ARE asking where God is during their struggle or how God can use them for greater things then they are experiencing now. We don’t have to “dumb down” services or talk shallowly through Scripture to accomplish this. We just have to get better at explaining ourselves and stop using “Christianese” for the sole purpose of sounding intelligent.
3) Talking About Money
I’ve mentioned things like sex, divorce, and pornography. But the worst of all is money. “Hold your purse Greta! The church is after our money again.” It’s incredibly awkward. However, the Bible talks about money more than prayer and faith combined. It’s important because it’s so powerful, and we have to be careful not to let it take over. Besides, getting financially invested into a solid and active church is the best investment you can make. Because when the world ends and there’s no more Apple, Wal-Mart, Disney, governments, borders, or anything else we have today, the Church of Jesus Christ will be the only thing left!
4) Experiencing Excitement Among Members
Nobody thinks it’s weird to love a football team, Krispy Kreme donuts, or the beach. But it’s weird to love church. When’s the last time you heard somebody say that they love their church? And if you get too excited, people will start saying that you go to a cult.
That’s just wrong. It’s fine to love eleven guys that you don’t even know chasing around an asymmetrical “ball” in spandex on a field, but it’s weird to love the only thing on Earth that actually has the power to change things. No real, lasting change will ever come through legislation or the United Nations. It’s going to come through the Church. We’ve got reason to be excited, because no matter what the world throws our way, God is still God, He’s not going to change, and He is still on His throne. And if we can’t be excited about that and the way that God changes people through the Church, then I don’t know what we can get excited about.