07 August 2005

Problems in the Church

Does your church have problems? Do the members get along, or do they argue like little kids. Wasn't there a time when the church was different, a time when they got along or resolved their problems like adult Christians? Don't be so naive.

There never was a golden age of the church. There never was a time when the doctrine was pure, the love warm and the fellowship supportive of each other.

I am reading the Apostolic Constitutions as a part of my personal growth. This is a 4th century AD document teaching the bishops how they should operate and how to avoid problems with the distribution of food to the needy, and so on. The church had real problems back then and struggled to deal with them the best they knew how. This long book tries to guide the bishops and Pastors into god-pleasing solutions to everday problems.

Every congregation has its problems and issues. No Pastor is perfect and he has a limited set of gifts to share with his congregation. I'm not being critical of Pastors, but it is a fact that some are better at preaching than working with children, for example. Each Pastor has a set of gifts and abilities he is to use in the congregation for the growth of the congregation and the glory of God. Support your Pastor. Ask him what you can do to help. He will thank you for asking.

The church of Jesus Christ exists to share the Good News with the whole world. It is made up of sinful, faltering, uncertain saints, washed in the blood of the Lamb. And these uncertain saints bring their own biases, their own troubles, their own fears to the church. And they are the instrument God has chosen to reach the world with His love. Just imagine that! YOU are a part of the eternal plan of God to love this fallen, dying, sinful world. YOU -- with all your troubles, fears and uncertainties -- as a baptized Child of God are included in His mission to this world.

Give thanks to God today for your church. Take a few moments and pray for your Pastor and the leaders of your church, ask the Lord to give them wisdom, faith and a vision for the future. No matter how small and weak your church seems, God is at work through it to make a difference in the world with the Word of God.

Doc Steve