Of compliments and churches

24 Apr

There are some compliments you never want to receive:

  • “That’s interesting.” (“I am nonplussed and put off by your comment, but I don’t want to risk offending you by saying what I really feel.”)
  • “He/She has a good personality.” (“I don’t think your blind date is much to look at, but then again, neither are you. At least you’ll have a good time enjoying one another’s ‘personality.’”)
  • “That’s nice.” (“Your suggestion is neither good nor bad, but falls into the mediocre, average, ho-hum, ‘nice’ range.”)

For my money, one of the worst comments you can make to a pastor is to tell him his church is “nice.” In my experience, “nice” churches are filled with “nice” people who have “nice” Bible lessons and “nice” potlucks and “nice” concerts, but never see changed lives and never make a difference in the local community or around the world. To tell a pastor his church is “nice” is to damn him with faint praise.

Instead of aiming to be “nice,” what should a church strive to be? As I have contemplated that question, several metaphors came to mind. A church should be:

  • A hospital—where sick people are made well
  • A counseling office—where the grieving and broken hearted find comfort and hope
  • A training center—where people discover their spiritual gifts, are trained how to use them, and then sent into the community, church, or world where they can serve
  • An armory—where people are equipped to win the battle of spiritual warfare
  • A living room—where people discover what a healthy marriage looks like and how to raise godly children
  • A family—where each person is loved and accepted for who they are, yet challenged to become who they have the potential to be
  • A school—where people are taught the Word of God, and learn to study it for themselves
  • A worship center—where God is honored, exalted, and praised
  • A community—where individuals, couples, and families are encouraged and supported
  • An offensive movement—storming the gates of hell on a rescue mission to release those held captive by the enemy
  • A bridge—bringing the people of God into the community and the world where they can make a difference

A church should never settle for being a clubhouse where you only hang out with those who know the secret handshake and password, and where you spend all your time reminiscing about the good old days when things were “nice.”

1 Comment

Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Church, Passion


One response to “Of compliments and churches

  1. Tim Jack

    April 24, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Well said brother.


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