What’s Happened to the Church?

Theater seats

Your mind and body belong to God. The Bible is explicit about these facts (2 Corinthians 10:5; 1 Corinthians 6:20). So when you read words from Christians, or see pictures from Christian leaders or pastors, who suggest that unless your “excellence” is similar to theirs you’re unsuccessful, just excuse their Western/American version of a faith that was birthed by a poor Man who didn’t have a cent to His name when He was murdered like a criminal. (And He was excellent!)

Personally, I’m exhausted by the idea that brighter lights and higher decibels equate excellence . . . and the brighter and higher, the more excellent still. It’s an embarrassment, in my opinion, when leaders justify their extravagance with the word “excellence.” I know that as a Christian, I’m responsible to think “excellent” thoughts (Philippians 4:8), and to acknowledge that Christ is “excellent” (2 Peter 1:3). But our brothers and sisters who are worshipping in the underground Church of the Middle East or China — is their worship somehow less excellent because it lacks the Western spark? I certainly hope not. In fact, Christ warned us about thinking our “consistence” was dictated by our possessions (Luke 12:15) — or in this case, spark.

Christ called us to simplicity (Luke 6:27-36). Paul called us to simplicity (1 Timothy 6:6-7). Peter demonstrated simplicity (Acts 3:6). John’s revelation calls us to a faithfulness (Revelation 2:10, 22:7). When did the Church become convinced that it’s power and influence correlated with it’s . . . what’s the word . . . “excellence”? I think we need to be cautious how we use our words and express our ideas about the Church, because, although Jesus was successful at drawing crowds (John 6:24), His commanded disciples . . . and discipleship is costly (Luke 14:25-33). Is our excellence helping to create disciples, or crowds? In the end, this is all that matters.

Blessings,
Pastor Joe

NOTE: Please know that I don’t equate a church’s excellence with it’s mundaneness, nor do I assume that every event-like church is failing to achieve excellence. Both are useful, and I, and those I talked to for this piece, have attended both with varying responses. 

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6 thoughts on “What’s Happened to the Church?

  1. I agree we don’t need all the pomp and circumstance but the goal is to bring people to the church to hear God’s message. If some people need this to be encouraged to attend then so be it. I am not going to judge which way is better because in the end what matters is that Christianity spreads, that’s where the excellence lies.

  2. All the “bling ” can be a distraction to the true meaning of Christianity. My opinion is that the Western church has been hiding behind the church building for too long, and the light inside the church, its members do not shine enough to attract the non believer. When I go to a Dr, I am not impress with his office per say, but is he going to listen, understand, diagnose, and have a plan to heal me, walk me thru the process, and have excellent bedside manners. I don’t care if I have to pay for parking, or if I have to wait an hour. Church is similar. We are all broken, restored by Jesus. That is supernatural! and so we should be a supernatural church. Not perfect.
    By the way, I love churches that are painted white, because you can see
    them from miles!
    sorry it’s so long:(

  3. There are so many people that go to “church” because they “have” to….
    I was one of them, constantly looking at my watch to see when the hour was close…texting my family and friends…”peace be with you” because I was bored, not learning ANYTHING! The place was always full…but..who was learning God’s word?
    Our church is small but it is so full of great and loyal members! I am so proud to know that I found NCC! I know what is happening to churches!! God’s word is not reaching it’s members…everything is ….luxury? What happened with humbleness? Simplicity? Friendship?
    Thank you Pastor Joe for showing me ALL I have learned through you these past 2.5 years!

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