Thursday, October 25, 2001

Yet another problem with the American church is that we are based around programs and not people. We have the church choir, a teen Bible Study, the handbells, the tech crew, 4 gazillion different Sunday school classes, two women's Bible studies, two college groups, a men's Bible study, a youthgroup, a drama group, an orchestra, the children's ministries which could be listed forever, and so on and so forth. It's really starting to get absurd. Although small groups help us to grow individually within a more intimate setting that can address the personal issues we are dealing with, we often times tend to separate ourselves from the rest of the church. We are no longer the body of Christ, but a hand and a foot and a mouth all doing their own thing to the detriment of the nonexistent whole. Acts 2:41-47 outlines the first Christian church as a model for us today, it is not an ideal dream, but a reality we should pursue, knowing that only God can actually make it happen, but we choose not to trust Him anymore. Apparently we believe God doesn't do miracles these days. Ephesians 4:11-13 clearly states that the goal of our faith should be maturity and unity. Not numbers of Sunday morning attendees, nor a massive program based church; that isn't a church. God gave us gifts to equip the Saints, build up the body toward unity of the faith, and grow toward maturity. If the youth group of a church is not actively a part of the church, then it has done a disservice both to them, to the Gospel, and to God. We fear that by putting the teens with the old folk they'll become bored and lose interest, so be it! Don't water down the truth, model the truth before them. Narrow is the road. We're so worried about offending these days that we don't allow the Gospel the full extent of its life changing power. Thank goodness God is still working despite our flaws. But 100 years ago the gospel would be preached in a town and bars would shutdown, houses of prostitution would be closed. Why doesn't that happen today? Because we don't want to offend, because we hide in our sub-culture, because we spend time on programs not people, because we don't preach to drug addicts and hookers like Jesus did.

-Tom Wilkinson