Posted by: pastordarren | July 23, 2011

Doing what we know needs to be done . . .

I had an experience last week that brought the question to mind, “Why do we put off doing what we know needs to be done?”.  Usually we procrastinate until it is too late or we are forced to change and do what we have to do.

I began to think about this in relation to the church.  Having just came back from our General Assembly and hearing the challenge of the speakers and knowing the challenges of the local congregation, I have been asking myself the same type of question, “Why don’t we do what we know needs to be done in the church?”.  We see the signs around us; culture and the world is changing, people are leaving the church, we are struggling with money and people issues, many of our facilities are falling apart and the list could go on.  Yet we remain steadfast in doing the same things, the same way we did them in the 1950s.

Why don’t we do what needs to be done?  Maybe we are afraid of loosing control, maybe we are afraid of ‘newness’, maybe we don’t want to ask the tough questions and do the hard work that it will take to move forward and I believe be obedient to God’s call on the church for today.

What needs to be done?  I believe it goes far beyond changing structure, worship, outlook, etc.  Although they are certainly things that will need to be, and should have been a long time ago, addressed.  I believe we need to return to a dependence upon God and a spiritual approach to the church and faith.  We have taken the church, the Body of Christ, and made it into an institution controlled by boards and bylaws.  We do ‘evangelism’ and recruitment to make budget and fill offices instead of sharing our faith.  We are  lifting up institutions, procedures, causes, instead of lifting up Jesus and we are paying the price for that.  I believe that when we lift up Jesus and focus on being His disciples, then the rest will take care of themselves.  Will it mean changes and new things, yes.  Will we be called into new and challenging spaces, yes.  Will it take prayer, discernment, discussion, listening, understanding and forgiveness, yes.  I believe with all these challenges, we are still called to follow.

We know what needs to be done and it is a matter of laying down our control, setting aside our fear, stop looking at ourselves and our power, and return to our first love, Jesus.  When we seek first Jesus and His kingdom, the rest will be taken care of.

By the way, my experience?  In Virginia we have to get yearly car inspections.  My last one expired in November of 2010 and I kept putting off taking my truck into get the new one done.  I was pulled over and received a ticked for the expired inspection.  I had to take the truck in that afternoon, spent 5 hours waiting for the inspection and did pass.  Still have to pay the fine and lost a good part of the day.  If I had done it earlier and been obedient to the law, then I would not have had the consequences.  Lesson learned (I hope).

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