As an evangelical pastor, I am a little confused and frustrated. My confusion and frustration can be summed up in a simple question, "What has happened to the church?" Battles continue over forms of music. Fights over whether a pastor is a leader or paid staff. Arguments are far too common over the role of elders and deacons. Angry sermons and judgment seems to be rampant. What in the world has happened to God's Church?
It really is God's Church with Jesus as the head. In many places, Jesus has been replaced by the rule of man and the result is a church that is rejected by the community at large. Constitutions are filled with statements of faith that seem to protect the so-called "Congregational" governance of the church rather than represent biblical leadership. The list of "Thou shalt nots" far surpass what Christ calls His church to be. Churches resemble the business world more than the spiritual realities that they are supposed to live.
It's not that the church should not be run business-like. Certainly there must be financial accountability. While this accountability must be maintained, the mission of the church has to be clear. Jesus said we needed to, "Go and make disciples" (See Matthew 28). I have always lovedPaul's take on making disciples. He basically said to leave no stone unturned - try everything and you will see some saved.
It's my heart-felt desire to see God's Church return to the basic spiritual foundations of Scripture. If you are involved in a church which is active in making disciples and are leaving no stone unturned, continue to support that effort. If you happen to be in a church that needs a fresh start at "The Great Commission", I urge you to be a loving agent of change. We must bring relevance in the community back to God's Church. Oh, in case you’re wondering, relevance doesn’t mean a soft message. That will be another article. Remember, it’s His church; we are only those who are called to represent it to a community that needs answers.