Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Keep The Change!

Church is changing. Certainly that is not a news flash to anyone. The church, in spite of the many who fear change and fight it with unmatched enthusiasm, has always changed and will always change. With all our spouting about unchangeable truths, historic Restoration, and imitating New Testament patterns, the church is people and people change. It is usually incremental and only discernible over a long period of time, but traditions change, expectations change, styles and preferences change, and priorities change. The church has always fought to keep the world out, but has still found itself compromising, blending, imitating, and evaluating itself a lot more by worldly standards then we'd ever admit.
We are impacted by the cultural values that every member lives, works, and plays in. Our culture, or our society, is materialistic. Most churches are made up of middle class affluent people who work long hours, feel insecure about their jobs and the future, want the nicer things in life for themselves and their families, and judge everything they spend money and time on by "Is it worth it" and "what will it do for me." We are consumers, comfort seekers, and committed to doing more of both.
Has that impacted, or brought about change in the church? You bet your debit card it does. When passions shift from seeking God and building loving relationships in His family, to seeking "the good life", the church becomes a burden, or a club, or sometimes just a bad memory.
There is a core group of dedicated church family members in every congregation, and praise God for each one. However, one doesn't need to be a social researcher to observe that fewer and fewer people feel committed to the family, feel responsible to participate and support family events, or feel the need to honor and improve their financial commitment to the family.
There has been a loss of passion for the church in the lives of many people. I guess it would be more accurate to say there has been a shift in passion from church family to worldly family - having the things the world says we all deserve and will make us happy. And that is nothing new. Satan has been using that line for centuries.
Change is coming - again. People are starting to see that money, things, and financial success is like riding a Jello horse. People are rediscovering that life is not about what you love, but who you love, and who loves you back. We'll be here, and we'll be remembering Paul's command, "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love," and Peter's command, "Love one another deeply from the heart." That is what the church is here to do. The church is changing. Have I said that?

1 comment:

Carol J said...

"like riding a jello horse" - nice simile!