button

Outreach

Church family
We are the church, so if there's something wrong, let's fix it instead of walking away. (Creationswap.com)

Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.


I recently turned 35. I was raised on Saturday morning cartoons (DuckTalesShirt Tales, lots of stuff with tales), cordless phones with extendable four-foot antennae, and Pop Rocks and Coke (they don’t kill you!). While I undoubtedly have a place in Generation X, I often share similar views with the millennials, particularly when it comes to all the church stuff. And it grieves me that so many of us have walked away from church.

Everybody has a different response and reason why our generation and those after us are leaving. They typically point to what’s wrong with the church. It’s not enough Jesus. It’s too much Jesus. It’s not enough holiness. It’s too much holiness. It’s not enough justice. It’s too much justice.

I get the concerns with church in general. But I’d like to offer the flip side of this coin: If the church isn’t what we want it to be, it’s not all the church’s fault. At least part of it is our fault. We can’t talk about the church as if it’s some abstract entity disconnected from us. We are the church.

And here's the truth: The church isn’t perfect. It’s never been perfect. It never will be perfect. So imperfections within the church simply aren’t a good excuse for anyone to leave. 

But we leave with our complaints as if we aren’t part of the problem. We’re just a tad bit spoiled. We tend to want everything handed to us. We want change, but it seems many of us don’t want the work that comes with implementing change. So we bounce around, hoping to eventually land in some magical realm where the Pew Fairy has already done all the work to make church exactly what we think it should be.

I hate to pop your balloon, but the Pew Fairy doesn’t exist.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If you want to bring about change in the church, you can’t do it from the outside looking in. Those who are walking away aren’t helping to fix anything. I’d like to see a few of us suck it up, stop whining about everything that’s wrong, and begin working to implement the change we’re calling for.

We’re so quick to walk, but when will we get plugged in and become leaders and active volunteers? Instead of leaving, why don’t we actually become a part of it so we can help make it better?

Perhaps we’re just content to keep complaining about it. Perhaps we don’t really want it to be better—because then we wouldn’t be able to take a stand against it and we’d have to actually start attending. We’d be forced to commit.

I know church isn’t perfect. I get the arguments. I understand the frustrations. I have the exact same ones! But I’m convinced that getting out is not the best option. I’m so convinced of this that I work at a denomination’s international headquarters.

I believe in the church. I see her with a bright future. I see her speaking into the culture. I see her reaching all generations and age levels. I see her making a difference, reaching the lost, helping Christians mature, and connecting believers to God and one another. She’s not all she could be just yet, but if the next generation simply bails, she’ll never get there.

I am the church. You are the church. If there’s a problem with the church, there’s a problem with us. As long as we continue to act like outsiders looking in, change will never come. 

So, are you in or are you out? Revolutions have never been started by people on the sidelines. 

Darren Schalk promotes discipleship around the globe and serves on several interdenominational boards that are focused on discipleship. His latest book, Dear God, We Need to Talk, releases March 4. Follow Darren on Twitter or read his blog for more insight on discipleship.

Leaders are readers! Subscribe now and get 3 magazines for the price of 1. Get Ministry Today, Charisma and SpiritLed Woman all for $24. YES - I'm a leader!

Ministry Today Subscription Special - Subscribe to Ministry Today magazine today and get 12 issues (2 full years) plus Amplified Leadership, a free leadership book for only $24.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
  • Lyndon Johnson

    63-Year-Old Law Still 'Threatens' Churches, Pastors

    Read why this law is so dangerous to the kingdom culture.

  • Churches with less than 100 members possess a sense of potential that is alluring.

    The Great Value of Churches With Under 100 Members

    God can and does use small churches in significant ways to advance His Kingdom.

  • Explorers require significant input.

    How to Receive Clarity When Torn Between Choices

    Decision making is risky without guidance from the Holy Spirit.

  • A dark cloud hangs over the 61 "deplorables" in Congress.

    Inauguration Day and the True Deplorables in Congress

    "To opt out of participation in this festival of the democratic process is to say publicly that ...

  • Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Start a Wildfire of Spiritual Growth in Your Church

    Watch how God can take one spark and turn it into a wildfire that impacts your ministry, your community and even future generations.

  • A new path is opening now.

    Prophecy: The Lord Is Opening Doors for Kingdom-Minded Businesses

    Find out how to activate this prophetic word of increase in your company.

  • The future of your ministry could depend on how you answer these questions.

    5 Questions You Will Answer in 2017

    The future of your life, ministry and church will be determined by the way you address these.

  • Decision-making

    Always Involve These Factors in Your Kingdom Decision-Making

    Failure to make the tough choices, when needed, can limit the growth and even viability of our ...

  • Local congregations are called to become Christ-like in their methodology, mission and essence.

    10 Traits of the Jesus-Driven Church

    If we attempt to walk in these, we will leave a powerful imprint on the world around us.

Use Desktop Layout
Ministry Today Magazine — Serving and empowering church leaders
button
button