Thursday, August 08, 2013


Is "In" Bad?

Todd Rhoades list 5 signs of "inward drift: in a church:
  1. Most of the ministries and programs are focused on meeting the desires and needs of the members.
  2. The budget of the congregation is directed primarily at funding the projects and even comforts of the members.
  3. Conflict in the congregation is not uncommon since members are more concerned about getting their perceived needs and desires met.
  4. There is little to no focus on evangelism, reaching out to the community, and getting the gospel to the nations.
  5. Leadership is weak and reticent to address the problems, because that leadership emphasis could disrupt the status quo.
Some of these are indeed signs of trouble in a church, but I am not sure that are all relates, nor am I sure they are signs of an "inward" church - nor is "inward" all bad.

The model of the church that these points taken as a package represents is a model that says the church is almost entirely a reproductive organ. But it is not, the church is the whole body of Christ. It has system for reproduction, but it also has many more system to sustain itself. In fact, in time of crisis, the reproductive systems are some of the first that the body robs support from to use the energy for other more important survival functions.

The church is not the evangelist - the members of the church are. If the evangelists are not being cared for, they are not going to evangelize. For the body to grow, it must be first healthy. To chastise a body for caring for itself when it is ill is a bit ridiculous, don't you think? OF course such a body is going to use its resources to heal itself.

Oh, I can hear the objections now - "But the old fogies won't...." - "They never...."

Did you ever stop to think that if the problems is the members are not evangelizing that you need to make them better members, not just get new ones? If you're called to be a pastor, pastor. If your called to be an evangelist - get out of the church and into the field.


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