In listening to Christians around the world, I have discovered a few things. One, the church has caused a bit of damage. I find that sad. Two, church goers are looking for something that is life giving. And three, the patented formulas for church growth are leaving a lot of folks feeling lonely.
Online there is a lot of noise about how hypocritical the church is, the scandals and abuses - and the naysayers are still talking about the crusades! Bill Marr, and Elton John can't seem to spew enough hate to go around. And then you have the Larry King preachers like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren who can't even spit out a simple gospel when they have an audience. It's a good thing Jesus doesn't need a PR agent.
I actually don't think it is possible to change the image of the church enough so that people notice. It's seems like it is always going to be about money and bad character.
I have a lot Christian friends through blogging, Facebook, and some other social media. Most are not attending, or are marginally attending church. What is it going to take for a real pastor to leave the damn offering basket on the pew, and go looking for the lost sheep?
What is is going to take to stop all the programs, and church analytics and just love people and preach a simple gospel? For a church that has seen major moves of God in Toronto, Brownsville and other places, where is all that power? Are we still going to conferences to get a buzz, or are we putting our prophetic words and anointed insight to use?
I don't know about you, but I am hungry and thirsty for more, for deeper; for Jesus.
And lastly, I am finding folks that are lonely even in church. Folks that have real stuff going on, and need a friend. What they've seen is a lot of lip service for the Kingdom, and not a lot of action. Do you have a few committed Christian friends? I don't mean Facebook buddies, I mean flesh and blood folks that look forward to hanging out with you.
If we look at the damage that church has caused, we can see that men fail. But can't we see that Jesus doesn't? If we are hungry and thirsty, what are we willing to do to get in God's presence? If we are lonely, can we take a minute to see hat type of friend we have been.
How about you, what's next for you? Have you been hurt in church? How are you going to fix it? Are you thirsty, where are you going to get your next drink? Are you lonely, how are you going to meet your next friend? What's your next step? Tell me about it.
Psalm 107:9 for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.