Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Who Can Fix the Church?


I'm delighted to be this week's host of In "Other" Words. Read the quote below and give us your impression by linking up with fellow contributors at the end of this post.

"Our view of the Holy Spirit is too small. The Holy Spirit is the One who changes the church, but we have to remember that the Holy Spirit lives in us. It is individual people living Spirit-filled lives that will change the church.”

Francis Chan
Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

Churches are getting lots of flak lately.

That church is a mile wide and an inch deep.

Churches don't preach enough about the blood of Jesus or the cross.

They're stuffy and impersonal.

That church is all about the show.

What happened to calling people out on their sin?

They only say what people want to hear.

There's not enough discipleship.

We need more churches with a heart for missions.

There's no compassion for the underprivileged.

Churches are more concerned about their numbers than their hearts.


I could go on and on. It's true. Churches struggle. Flaws abound. They could do better.

But who is "they?" Who is "the Church?" Isn't the Church a body of individuals? Isn't anyone who calls themself a believer or Christ follower responsible for its flaws?

The Church is suffering, but through Spirit-filled individuals real change can occur. We can't wait around for "the Church" to do it on its own. Exactly WHO do we blame? ALL OF US! Each member of the body of Christ must seek God, draw upon the inherent power of the Holy Spirit within and come alongside those who are weak. Any team is only as strong as its weakest member, right? We affect a genuine difference in our world through personal devotion and obedience, individual relationships and commitments.

Only then will the Church effectively reach a crooked and depraved generation. Only then will we represent the Bride adequately.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

1 Corinthians 12:27


What do you think? Are you dying to share your perspective? We'd LOVE to hear from you. Link your post here and be sure to visit others.


11 comments:

MiPa said...

Well said Tami! This was an incredibly challenging quote for me as it speaks to so much of the pain we have encountered in the last year at the hands of "the church"--not the institution but the individuals that make it up. I have, and continue to, struggle with how to accept responsibility as an individual for the things that the church is blamed for and make changes in myself as I am able (to be part of a bigger change than me). I don't get it right most of the time, but quotes like this help keep me on the right path. Thank you friend for hosting and challenging us.

Heather of Swallowing A Moose said...

Tami,

Preach it girl. We are the change the church needs! Individuals repentant, revelation seeking, and Christ spilling into and then out of our very pores.

Too many people fill of pews with their flesh and their opinions. An then complain about why things are the way they are. They fail to see that they too need a fresh revelation of the grace of God.

Christ can and will do a radical work in and through the church... if only people wanted to invite him to do a radical thing in their own thinking & speaking life. I don't think people want Him bad enough. Which means they haven't come to realize that their own efforts are going to return void. Over and over again. This is why my hearts prayer for myself and the church is revelation... daily, hourly, and every second in between.

:) Thanks for hosting this week! Be blessed sweet sister!

Karen said...

Well done. Your list of what people say about the church was right on. We do need to be more affect for Christ and it starts with each individual. We need to remember its not what the church can do for us but what we can do for the church. When we think that way we can be affective outside the church and in.

Jennifer said...

Thanks, Tami, for hosting today and for this quote! It was timely and good for me to ponder this week. It is amazing to think what could happen in our churches if we would truly get desperate for the Holy Spirit's power and let Him do the work through us.

Kathleen@so much to say, so little time said...

It's hard for people to separate the institution from the members, and vice versa, but the Church will never be perfect, b/c it's made up of human beings, fallible and flawed. And, as you say, it's our job to seek higher ground.

Nic said...

Very convicting question and answer: Who is to blame? All of us.

Amen!

I confess I got a little carried away with mine today. LOL! I just started writing and didn't stop until I was done. Thanks for hosting today!

Debbie said...

Tami, I'm so glad you chose this quote as it's been a topic of discussion lately. I read Francis Chan's book and really loved it. It got me thinking.

You are so right; the church is made up of individual believers. And as believers we are filled with the Holy Spirit. If we each lived our lives under the control of that mighty power, I think we'd see a different church. And I also believe the world would know us by our love.

Blessings,
Debbie

LittleWomen21 said...

This part really inspired me: "We can't wait around for "the Church" to do it on its own. Exactly WHO do we blame? ALL OF US! Each member of the body of Christ must seek God, draw upon the inherent power of the Holy Spirit within and come alongside those who are weak."

That hit me hard because in my particular church, I am one of the "weak" ones. I have a truly amazing church and there are people in my church who blow me away with their faith. My problem is I look at my little four girls that take up all my energy, my shoestring budget, and think "how in the world can I accomplish anything for the kingdom ? How could I go on or help a mission trip? How can I even help out at a church workday, without my kids getting under foot? How can I minister when I am so shy/insecure about starting conversations with people I don't already know really well? But God is slowly working on me. This post helped - thank you!

Tami Boesiger said...

Oh LittleWomen21, your comment hits home for me. Ten years ago I was in your shoes--at home with four little kids, living on one income, hiding behind my kids at church and feeling insignificant in the kingdom. And yet God kept whispering to my spirit, kept telling me to wait on His timing and though I still don't completely understand what He has in store for my future, I feel used by Him. I see He makes me more than I am. I get to take part in His work in ways I couldn't have imagined. So hang in there, friend. You are in the tough training years, but never believe they are a waste. God is teaching you discipline and compassion and servanthood all the while establishing relationships in your family to sustain you for many, many years. His plan is perfect. Don't let the enemy convince you otherwise. You are important. You are chosen. You are special. Don't doubt God's call on your life because you spend most of your time in your own home. It is the best training ground. You sacrifice much to do His bidding now. He must be smiling. Well done, friend.

LittleWomen21 said...

After seeing your comment on my post, I popped back here to let you know I fixed the wording on the statement you pointed out - thank you for catching that unintended wording. So glad I came back here to let you know because then I saw your encouraging words above.

Claudia said...

Tami, Your words remind me of the Casting Crowns song If We Are the Body. Why aren't we ...? As the body of Christ, we are responsible for to "affect a genuine difference in our world through personal devotion and obedience, individual relationships and commitments." I like that.