Here is the other side of the coin to my post 10 Things Christians Want to See from the Church.
So let’s dive right into the 10 Things the Church Wants to See from Christians:
- They Want You to Stop Looking at Them. I know, that sounds odd but it’s become habit to look at the institution of the church more than Christ. The church is full of failures and beauty but the only way you can see the beauty in her is by looking at her through the eyes of Christ. Which leads to the next point.
- Be the Change You Want to See. I think we can all agree the church has a lot of room left for improvement but instead of looking at all the ways she is failing from a safe, far distance, jump in and work with us in being Christ to one another.
- Give Us Some Grace. It has already been said but here it is again, the church fails… A lot. But that’s only because she is made up of broken, messed-up humans who look no different from you or me. We can’t hold her to a standard of perfection. We can only hold her to the standard given to us all by Christ and that standard is grace.
- Don’t Give Up On All Christians Because of the Poor Actions of a Few. You’ve been hurt, we get that, but one Christian’s bad decision is not the poster child of the church. We try to base our actions on Christ. We mess that up a lot, but if you want to see where we are trying to go, look at Christ… And while you’re looking, come help us be what you see.
- Ministry is Not Just the Job of the Staff and Pastor(s). Many church congregations have a pastor and, sometimes, staff. It’s easy to pass off the work of the church body to the hired church staff. But don’t rob yourself of the opportunity to see Christ where he lives—in the lives of the hurt, broken, sad, drug-addicted, poor, prideful and in the wreckage of bad decisions. You will never see the heartbeat of Christ unless you look for him where his heart lives.
- Look for Christ and You Will Find Him. We all can jot down a laundry list of problems in the church. It’s easy to find cracks in a foundation and yet forget how supportive it is. Christ is the foundation of his church. She is full of cracks, but she is not beyond repair. If you look for Christ in his church you will find him. If you look for the failures of the church, you will find them as well. How you see the church will be determined by whether you see her through the mercy of Christ or the brokenness of her failures.
- It’s Not About You, and It’s Not About Us. It’s about Christ and his Gospel of love to heal the brokenness of our sin condition. If you only see the church through what you need out of her, then you will never see the beauty that flows out of her.
- We are Not Perfect, We Know This. We screw up, get in arguments over ridiculous stuff, and have some crazy moments, but we try to have grace. Sometimes, we even fail at that. If your expectations are for perfection you will be disappointed. But if your expectations are to be molded and guided by a perfect God who gives us perfect grace, then pull up a chair—there’s plenty of room at the table.
- Jump In. We are broken, you are broken, let’s be friends. Don’t just wait for the perfect volunteering position. Get out there and be the church. Invite someone to dinner that you don’t know very well. Ask questions offer support. What you may find after a good dose of selfless service is that you begin to see the face of Christ in the face of those whom you are serving.
- Don’t Give Up. We have a long way to go, but don’t give up on us. Remember who our Father is and that he is perfect in grace. He hasn’t given up on his church so neither should we. She is being made into his perfect bride. We are not there yet but his mercy teaches us little by little, day-by-day.
Let me know in the comments section below what you think the church would want Christians to know.