I wish the church…
• Was more evangelistic
• Had dynamic worship
• Ministered to every age group
• Encouraged people to become leaders
• Was more visible in the community
• Invested in the home
• Provided more fellowship opportunities
• Had a thriving education program
• Had a passion for world missions
• Was attentive to visitors
• Cared more about X, Y, or Z
• Spent more on X, Y, or Z
Through the years, these statements and similar ones have been made in some form or fashion. People want the church to do more and be more. Referring to her in that nebulous, generic way–“the church”–is a comfortable, broad stroke-painting way of making a sweeping indictment of an institution which can then be made a scapegoat of any religious problem that we feel plagues us.
What I must remember is that I am the church–at least I am a member of it (1 Cor. 12:27). I cannot exempt myself from her problems or duties. Am I evangelistic? Am I an enthusiastic, engaged worshipper? Do I reach out to all ages? Present in my community and home? Attentive to visitors? The church, which is a Divine creation (Eph. 3:9-11), depends on every member contributing in every way each can (Eph. 4:16). This encourages getting whole hands involved rather than using fingers to point at others.
Could the church be doing more, reaching more, reflecting God more? Absolutely! I know this because I can be doing all those things more. Let’s each focus on what we can do to build a stronger church, in every way we possibly can! The Lord is counting on us.