A coworker asked me today about my thoughts on the church, and by church he meant the thing you go to on Sunday. Not the big ‘C’ Church that is the body of Christ. He wanted to know what the purpose of the church is today. He was really getting the heart of a deep problem inherent in the system. The problem being, that in large churches the forum for open discussion and learning is almost non-existent. He contends that in small house churches the opportunity for evangelism and growth is so much higher, and I agree whole-heatedly. And of our tithes, if it were in a small setting you could see where your money is going to have a Kingdom impact, and know you were a part of something God was doing, not just a rounding error in a multi-million dollar budget. I’m not trying to criticize the large churches out there. I belong to one, and I believe within those systems there are redeemable things. But my coworkers point stands. A question for all involved in church ministry is, “is the system broken, and have we lost our way?”
When a system is broken there is one question you must ask. How broken?
Is it repairable? Or do we need to abolish it? This is the wrestling match I am currently struggling with. I want to believe our churches are repairable. I want to believe God works in and through us, in spite of us. But I also know that sometimes you get sent out into the desert for 40 years, or the temple gets torn down. Systems come and go, but the truth of God remains. How we choose to interact with that truth in our time and culture will forever determine whether we are remembered as a generation that gave up, or a generation that persevered and reignited a broken and weary Church.