How to Not Change the Church

Relevant magazine has another good article today on ‘How Not to Change the Church‘ that’s worth reading. It’s a topic I’ve addressed before multiple times (here, here, and here). The basic idea in the article is that complaining won’t change anything in the church, but actively doing things can and will change the church. Do you wish they’d do something differently? Then stop complaining and change it. The article says it well:

And the onus is on us to keep taking steps toward Jesus and His people on a daily basis—through prayer, scripture, community and evangelism. We need one another to be the Church, and we need lots of different people around us to remember that it can look many different ways.

So go do something about your unhappiness with church. Get plugged in a start seeing change occur, both in you and around you.

The Real Worship Wars

One thing that seems to be a continual point of contention among the church is what type of music we sing. Everyone, whether they are musical or not, seems to be the expert critic who can instinctively tell when people are putting on a show or if they are truly worshipping God. But how often are those people the ones who are putting on a show by distracting others from their worship of God with their stoic bodies and frowns on their faces? How many of us need to fight the worship war inside our own heart instead the the “war” of which music we prefer? Ultimately this idea of a “worship war” should be such a foreign concept to the church who is called to live in unity (Ephesians 4, Philippians 2, John 13:35). Relevant magazine has a great article about these worship wars we should be waging and says,

Worship is war. But it is not to be fought over our own preferences. We must turn our energy towards killing the selective, prideful nature within us. We must fight to put to death anything in us that would hinder us from pursuing Christ with all we are. We must fight to worship him with a joyful adoration that cannot be contained.

What things do you need to make war against in order to, “by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment”?

We Are Not God’s Gift to Earth

One of the things that has frustrated me about modern young Evangelicals today is a certain amount of theological arrogance. I’ve talked to many people my age who are convinced they are God’s gift to the church, that they have all the right answers and that they are going to bring about a new reform in Christianity. My problem is that they too often forget about the thousands of years of believers who have gone before them and dealt with some of the same issues we’re facing today. Homosexuality, yep, that’s been going on since Genesis. Drunkenness, look no further than Noah. Tattoos? Yep, that’s in there too (but not necessarily to say Christians shouldn’t have them as many people say today).

The Gospel Coalition has a fantastic blog today titled ‘We’re Not the Ones God Has Been Waiting For.’ In the article he offers 3 reasons why we tend to think we’re far better than those who have gone before us:

1. We make an idol of cultural acceptance.

2. We think we can do ministry better than our fathers.

3. We put too much weight in our own abilities.

The saying goes, “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.” This is also true in the church. Starting in the 90s we had a rise of a new church movement called the emergent church. Relevant, a magazine I subscribe to recently said,

(The emergent churches’) critique of rigid pietism and narrow theology devolved into a less interesting, rehashed theological liberalism. Driscoll and Seay fled the movement, and those who remained were either marginalized among evangelicals or became a a small avant-garde sect of mainline Protestantism. The emergent movement’s rise and fall remains a warning against reform movements that lack a theological center.

Again, it seems to me that the emergent church forgot about the thousands of years of church history and tried to rebrand the church as something new, but it’s all been done before. I’m grateful that despite a changing culture and a church doing its best to keep up with that changing culture, there is a solid rock who has never changed and never will. I hope and pray other church leaders my age will not neglect to study church history and read from other people who are much smarter than we are as we do our best to lead the churches God has called us to.