Read Lead Pastor Duane Mabee's weekly Pastor's Ponderings here!
Reawakening to the Churchby Duane Mabee on January 19, 2022
It is common now for Christians to give up on the Church and walk away. Many continue to believe in Jesus Christ, but they are done with the institutional expression of the Body of Christ we call the local church. Some have been hurt by church people. Some are deeply disappointed with the level of worldliness in the church. Some are bored. Others believe the church isn’t making an impact. They no longer see any value in continuing to be a part of the organized church.
At times, it’s hard to argue with them. Granted sometimes these are just excuses, but for a growing percentage they are honest reasons for giving up on the local church, yet they are not giving up on their faith.
This trend should cause us to examine ourselves. Are we giving people reasons to walk away? When they talk of being hurt by church people, are they referring to us and do they have valid complaints? Do we look so much like the world that there isn’t enough difference to make being a part of us meaningful?
On the other hand, does our expression of church honestly give people reasons to value being a part of what is happening here? Are we making a legitimate impact on the community? Are we becoming and doing what Christ desires of His church? Do we live transformed lives that show the power of Christ in us?
This week, the Alliance is praying for a reawakening to the Church of Christ. Regardless of how we feel about the church or what we have let it become, the Church is Christ’s deeply loved bride. “…Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish,” (Eph 5:25-27 ESV). If Christ loves the Church that much, so should we. We should work hard to see our local expression of the Body of Christ become everything He wants His Church to be.
The Church is also Christ’s instrument for thwarting Satan’s plans. Jesus promised He would build His church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, (Matt. 16:18). In other words, we are to be ripping down the gates of hell and setting captives free. The church is responsible for evangelizing the world. The church exists to develop believers to Christlike maturity. The church is the only organization that has the ability to address the deep needs and divisions in our society.
Would you join me in praying that God will reawaken us to what we, Christ’s Church, should be and do? May our local expression of the Body of Christ become everything He wants us to be.