Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Are we the church?

I found the following quote in this blog by Henry Neufeld, but the quote is from a post by Allen Belvere:
And one more thing– as long as the church wants to grow only in order to pay the bills; if we see new people not as persons made in the image of God who need God’s transforming grace as much as the rest of us; if we only see them as instruments by which to meet the general budget, then we will have really lost what it means to be the church in the world.
Too many times I have heard that we need to attract more members to our church so that we grow, can pay our bills, thrive, survive.

Is that really why we need to attract more members?

No.  And I think using that motivation turns those who visit our church or those we invite to church into a means to an end -- church survival.  That's not love -- we're not loving that person if we only bring him or her to church so that the institution will grow or even survive. 

And here is the secret we hope isn't true -- the new person knows what we are doing. 

If we aren't loving, then the person in front of us will not feel loved.  He will feel used.  And we aren't a church.

I keep saying something the same thing, and feeling naive, but I truly believe it is right, and I was glad to see it on someone else's blog.

It is not our goal to attract new members so that our church will survive.  Our goal is to make disciples for Jesus Christ.  Do that, and we are a church.  Don't do that, and does it matter if the organization survives?



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