Monday, June 6, 2016

Model The Church That You Want

Christians, by in large, tend to gravitate to churches that support them in ways that go beyond their faith. We all want to learn and do what the scriptures teach, but there is divergence on some life issues about how to proceed in practical ways that will not be damaging to the Body internally or be harmful to those that might be seeking Christ from outside the body.

It can be a divisive matter if we let that happen, especially if leadership within your local body is not hearing what they need to hear, or out of ignorance, behaving in ways that may not be beneficial to the long term good. And while it's true that God can take even the worst scenarios in this genre and make them work out to the benefit of all believers, we should not act hastily or out of anger or even righteous indignation in an effort to resolve them. Instead let me suggest an alternative.

I read somewhere that we have to model the church that we really want to go to. Our behavior among our brethren needs to reflect what we have concluded Christ wants from His church. So instead of saying, "I'm mad", "I'm Unhappy" or "this is wrong so I am leaving", we should become the church that we want to worship at.

So here's the deal. Find like minded believers. Begin to model the church you want to see. Begin to do the things that you have been lead by Christ to do. Help those that you disagree with to see the advantages of this kind of church. Help those undecided to see the possibilities. Increase in numbers. Enter positions of leadership.

Influence your brethren through your behavior. Stand up and show them the way. This will be hard. There may be persecution, but if we are truly doing the work of Christ, we should not expect an easy road. Opposition from fellow believers can be exasperating or it can be a joyful event if one is motivated correctly to do the will of the Lord and to love one another. We can all learn and teach each other by doing things for Jesus.

Some say there comes a point where this is too late and it's time to move on. I am not there yet. I will not jettison those I love, even if I believe them to be in grievous error and have failed previously to convince them to live differently. Instead, I will live in the way I believe I am being called to live and model that for others. My presence does not support them. My presence will act as an eternal reminder of an alternate path still available. 

So when is it time to shake the dust from the feet and move on? I would say it's when no one has an interest in alternatives, but only rule of law.