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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Is the Church Just Another Organization?

Some people in the church don't get it.

They think that church is an organization that exists like any other organization. Joining means privileges. They expect that their contributions of money and work will count for special favors.

Therefore, they see themselves as they would in other organizations. They seek to have the"best" people in the community join. This raises the esteem of the organization. It makes them proud to be a member. In fact, those who have been moved from one city to another seek a church with the greater or same socio-economic level members. They say that these are "my kind of people."

Seeing the church as any other organization also means that they can climb the ladder of leadership. From this perch they can manage the organization to their prescribed success. Here, they manage the members who already exist. They stroke those who have deep pockets. They coddle those who can grant them access to other resources.

Their membership means that they should be given the best seats, the best Sunday School classes and mentioned frequently in praise. They cannot understand the rejoicing in the homeless man who has given his heart to the Lord. They cannot see the joy in a couple who has contributed nothing but has mended their marriage because of their new relationship with the Lord.

These people remind me of the older brother of the Prodigal. He couldn't understand all the rejoicing. He had never left the father. He had always worked. Why didn't he get the privileges?

And this makes no sense to you either if you think of the church like any other organization.

The church is the only group of people who will ever meet for the purpose of those who are not yet members. It should understand its glory is only found in redeeming that which was lost.

Maybe the church can be what it was truly meant to be if members would understand that it isn't just another organization.

 Luke 15:29-32 (NIV)
29 But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!' 31 "'My son,' the father said, 'you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.'"

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