It seems that there are some folks who are bent on focusing on so-called “problems” that a church has. “Well, you know, that church has leadership problems. That church has problems with gossip. That church has problems keeping their young people. That church has financial problems. That church has problems with race relations. That church has problems keeping their members happy. That church has problems with what some of their teachers teach.” And so on, and so on it goes! There are some “Professional Church Inspectors” out there who carry a badge in one hand and a magnifying glass in the other and are determined to find, broadcast and criticize whatever so-called “problems” they think a particular church (i.e., congregation) has.
Can I ask you a question: “What benefit do such folks bring to the Lord’s church? What good do such folks produce for the cause of Christ?” Think about that for a minute and we’ll come back to it.
Here’s the reality. Here’s the big, not-so-secret truth about the church. Are you ready? Feel free to share this with everyone you know. The church is made up of people, and people have problems. Isn’t that profound? Honestly, that should not surprise us at all. Now, consider this.
Every congregation that we read about in the New Testament had problems. Some of them were bigger and more noticeable than others, but they all had issues they were dealing with, and some of those issues even characterize those churches in our minds today. What church was dealing with division over following preachers like Paul, Apollos and Cephas? What church was struggling with second coming doctrinal issues? What church had left its first love? What church was lukewarm? We don’t know these problems because there was a “Profession Church Inspector” going around and finding some sense of satisfaction in pointing out all of their flaws. We know this because the Bible reveals them to us, along with the inspired teachings to help them overcome their issues.
Are you a “Professional Church Inspector”? If so, have you ever gained any great benefit from holding such an office? Has your shaking finger and sharp tongue ever won a lost soul to Christ or built up the kingdom of God? What is your goal, if you champion this critical effort?
Let me encourage all of us to actually DO something that can benefit the cause of Christ. Let us focus ourselves on things above, let us find positive things happening in the Lord’s church and shine a light on them, let us encourage and build up every Christian we know, let us pray for our elders, let us forgive, let us emulate Christ. And let us not be “the problem.”
(Disclaimer: There is nothing going on at PBL that prompted this article. As far as I know, we don’t have any problems, other than me.)