Thursday, May 11, 2006

Protecting Your Church

Today Rick Warren talks about unity in the church, but I think the best word he used was "harmony." I think that is more fitting of what he is going after. In music the best music has different notes all playing together at the same time. They are different, but moving together, in some ways moving towards the same goal. That is the image I have of the church.

The problem seems to be that we so naturally focus on the negatives, focus on our differences, instead of focusing on what we have in common and what is going well. It is easy for us to look and see that we are little behind financially here at church, but why not celebrate that our attendance and giving is up (quite significantly) from last year and years past. We worry more about how other congregations worship and run their congregation and less time celebrating the number of people worshiping Jesus on a given Sunday. Perhaps it is unrealistic expectations of the church. Perhaps we forget there is no perfect church.

In talking about being realistic Warren says:
"People become disillusioned with the church for many understandable reasons. The list could be quite long: conflict, hurt, hypocrisy, neglect, pettiness, legalism, and other sins. Rather than being shocked and surprised, we must remember that the church is made up of real sinners, including ourselves. Because we're sinners, we hurt each other, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally....Reconciliation, not running away, is the road to stronger character and deeper fellowship...
...Groucho Marx was famous for saying he wouldn't want to belong to any club that would let him in. If a church must be perfect to satisfy you, that same perfection will exclude you from membership, because you're not perfect!"

There is no perfect church, but we can most certainly strive to work together, to live in harmony.

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