Friday, April 17, 2009

First Church of Failure


"All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need."
ACTS 2:45(NIV)

This is a little snipit of the bible talking about the church when it was first established as an organization in ACTS 2. (read Chapter 2:42-47 for further info.)

This is a far cry from what many churches are or have become today. This is not an anti-church blog today, this is a plea for christians and church members alike to start actually becoming the church Jesus desired to established.

A family member is dying in a nursing home and no one from the church ever comes to visit them or bothers to check on you. A spouse has a terminal illness and no one from your church calls to check on them or you to see how you are doing or if you need anthing or to offer help.
Maybe you go through a painful divorce and people start looking at your different or treating you different, or better yet, maybe they don't even notice you or your pain. Maybe you suffer a sudden death of a loved one and no one makes any effort to comfort you. Or maybe you lose your job and not one person from your church offers to help.

Sadly, this happens quite a bit in our churches, I've seen most of these situations with my own eyes or have listened to people share their pain with me, and how they feel the church let them down or no one cares.

Many churches not only ignore the real needs of their people, but some even "shoot their wounded" or "kick them" while they are down if the problem is in the church. This is pathetic, horrible, sickening, and heartbreaking. Many churches preach and teach the "Good Samaritan" and "love your neighbor", but some christians (and churches) are too busy, too inward focused, and too self-absorbed to notice the hurting, the desperate, and those who need the Love of God.
I say shame on any church like this and shame on any christian like this. We need to love, accept, defend, meet needs, and love unconditionally when it comes to meeting the needs of others. We need to be the type of Christians and Churches that are the hands, feets, eyes, ears, and heart of God.

I've been church hopping for nearly a year and in the dozen or more churches i've visited or attended regularly or even preached/spoke in, only a couple did I feel wanted, welcomed, and felt like, if I went through a tough time, that they may be actually be there for me.
It is up to me and you as individual christians and members, leaders, and ministers in our local churches to step up and start defending the helpless, loving those in need, and noticing the hurting around us and not just saying "we'll pray for you", or "send an encouragement card", or read the names on the prayer list, but to actually physically and spiritually get active in helping these people.

Let's stop ignoring, forgetting, adding to their pain, or making it worse, and let's start picking people up and helping them recover. How many people have stopped going to church or given up on their faith because of the way they were treated or forgotten by their church? How many of them not only are still hurting, but now in addition to their suffering have an added chip on their shoulder where the church has hurt them or failed them?

I can do better, we can do better, and today is the beginning of a new day for us. Let's get back to being the real church, the true church, and the church that God intended to begin with.

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