Change is hard. Change is very hard. Change in churches is impossibly hard. And I’m not even talking about grand sweeping theological or moral changes, I’m talking about the color of a carpet.
The question then becomes, whose church is it anyway? If it’s our church, then all of our tithes have been toward keeping up a spiritual vacation house and paying the live-in staff to keep the programs running smoothly. And when you put it that way, why wouldn’t we all just save the tithe and buy the vacation house?
If it’s the church that Jesus established, then our tithes and volunteer service are going toward training and equipping Jesus’ followers to go and make more disciples by bringing more people into the family. In that case, the church is more like a training facility to build up and send out thoroughly prepared men and women (and kids!) to stake more ground for the Kingdom!
I see it as a matter of perspective. Some view the church as a place to sit down, be passive, absorb esoteric knowledge, and receive. While others, I think more rightly, view the church as a place to heal, to get stronger, and then launch out into the world around in order to change it for the better.
The Church is a living, breathing organism, made up of individual people each contributing by being active in service, in love, and in forgiveness. There’s a word for a group of inactive, unproductive cells in a living body…
Being a member of a church is a call to action, a call to service, a call to something more. It’s a call to ask God for one more person to bring to Him. It’s a call, and duty, to train up the next generation. It’s a call to stop being a passive receiver, and become and active contributor. The church belongs to Jesus; it’s His bride, not ours.
So the next time some cosmetic change or strange service project looms on the horizon, remember that it’s Jesus’ Church doing one more thing to bring everyone it can to Jesus.