Saturday, January 29, 2011


Imagine a large group of people, sitting down in a vast room with rows upon rows of benches. All of the people there made it for their once-a-week appointment to hear an older gentleman give a sermon about Christ and the Bible. He gives a very well-thought-out message and may have even been led by the Holy Spirit to speak powerfully and with conviction.

If you thought that what I was describing to you was church, you would be wrong.

Now, bear with me for a little bit before you sign me off as a nut-job who doesn't even know what this cultural phenomenon we call "church" is. If we look in the Scriptures at the time that follows Christ's death, we see what the church looks like and how it formed. I am sorry to say that what we have today cannot be usually described as "the church."

A lot of the early church days were documented in the book of Acts. We see that the church is simply a body of believers living life together in their pursuit of Christ. Now don't get me wrong, the scene I described to you is in no way something bad.

It is; however, only a starting point.

The members of the early church knew that their Christian walk could not be lived out once a week in a building with four walls. It involved community and sharing. People (who normally should not even be put in a room together) would form bonds so strong that it could only be explained as supernatural and a work of the Holy Spirit. They would confess their deepest, darkest sins to each other, rejoice in one another's victories, carry each others' burdens, give to their brothers in need, and form a community so strong that not even the gates of Hell could prevail against it! (Matt. 16:18) They were a family in every sense of the word.

Now I'm sorry, but I don't really see too much of that happening nowadays. What I do see is gossiping, backstabbing, people getting lost in a crowd, hidden pain, and discontentment. My friends, this should not be so! We weren't just saved from our sins, we were saved to the body of Christ!

We do not attend church, we belong to it.

There needs to be some serious re-evaluation of the condition of the churches today. A revolution in the way we connect and live life together as believers in the same God.

I will leave you with two things.

There is a man by the name of Francis Chan who used to pastor a church in California. After listening to a lot of what he speaks about, and how he speaks about it, I know that Mr. Chan has a huge calling on his life and is obsessed with God. This is mainly the reason that he felt such a large conviction when presented with this scenario:

An ex-gang member who had been saved out of his life of darkness had started to visit pastor Chan's church and had been going for a while. After a certain amount of time, Francis noticed that the gang member had not been there for a few weeks. He e-mailed the fellow and asked about his disappearance. The gang member's reply went on to say that he came to the church with a gang mentality. He clarified and said that in a gang, members are so tight and connected, that they are considered to be the same blood. They would jump in front of a bullet for each other. Their lives were as interwoven as any could be.

The ex-gang member did not find this type of community in the church. Shame on us. And I do say "us" because I am also to blame for trying to live "my own life."

While mulling over this Biblical idea, I got to thinking about how fake people (including me) tend to be in the church. This inspired me to write a little bit of poetry.

Ankle - Deep

What's wrong with our churches?
What's wrong with our lives?
Why is God angry?
Why does He cry?

He hates our parades,
He hates our disguise.
He hates that His bride
Carries out her demise.

We think He won't see
What we hide from ourselves.
Even we can't take in
The lies that we tell.

The "self" we portray
Is so painfully fake -
Like drowning inside
An ankle-deep lake.

They say love is deep
That Christ's love is wide,
But maybe we're all swimming
In the kiddie-pool tide.

God has given us the ability to live out this community because he knows that it is fulfilling and joyful. Yes, it is at times embarrassing, (when sharing sins) but when we open ourselves to our fellow believers, we find that life becomes something to be shared and celebrated. Something intentional.

Something supernatural.


I agree 100% and I'm frustrated with my own "church" because of this very thing. People attend but they're not a vital part of the Body. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a significant problem with our churches today - but how do we go about a change? Lots of prayer of course, but how do we change people's mindsets and behavior toward going to church? That's the thing I'm stuck on. Fantastic post! Everyone should read it!

I think that we should spread the word as much as possible, but, ultimately, it is a work of the Holy Spirit. The group of guys that I was brought together with was a work of God. Considering our backgrounds and polarities of differences, it should have never been possible.

We simply need to call out to God and beg people to be awakened.

I just want you to know that I really appreciate what you have written here. All of your posts are so encouraging and many reflect what is in my own heart. Thank you for letting God use you in this way.

I'm glad He spoke to you through these words. :)

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