I've recently read a couple of disturbing and disappointing news articles about churches and ministers that have come under scrutiny. And there's no doubt about it, bad stuff happens within the walls of churches, and in the name of Christianity.
But I still love the Church. And I just wanted to make a couple of observations.
1. "Nothing works like the Church, when the Church works!"
I heard Pastor Bill Hybels make this statement years ago, and it still rings in my heart today! When the Church is operating as it is designed to, well, it's a beautiful thing. People are inspired, lives are transformed, families are strengthened, communities are impacted, and the Good News is clearly demonstrated.
2. The Church is not perfect.
Some very unfortunate things have happened in churches, and in the name of Christianity. It's deeply regrettable, and should not happen... but it does.
3. No one church represents what's happening in the Church.
What I'm trying to say is... because you had a bad experience in one church, that doesn't mean that every church is like that. For every unfortunate story that's published, for every bad experience someone has experienced in a local congregation, there's thousands of great experiences, and hundreds of great churches who never get their story told.
4. Something wonderful is happening in the Church today!
If you haven't been to church in sometime, or if you've only ever attended one church, you may not be aware that there are some beautiful and meaningful changes happening in churches around the world.
5. I want to invite you to give "Church" a second look.
Somewhere in a community where you live, or within a short drive, there is a church that "works." It's a great church! It's life-giving! It's inspiring! It's making a difference in the community! I challenge you to check it out. If you'll listen closely, one of your friends has probably been talking about it.
Jesus said, "I will build MY church." (emphasis added) Yes, in the history of the church, there has been good, there has been bad, and there has been very ugly. But Jesus continues to build HIS church. And that's the church I want to be a part of! Join me?