“In the beginning the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome where it became an institution. Next, it moved to Europe, where it became a culture. And, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”
~ Richard Halverson
former chaplain of the United States Senate
I put this quote in my blog because I have heard it before, think its extremely insightful and believe it may shed light on why we have so much trouble doing the work of the Kingdom.
I don’t have all of the answers, but sometimes I can’t help but wonder if we’ve spent the last 50 years missing the point about what church should be about. We really have a hard time finding fault in the church. We seem to write off our troubles at times with the cliche “it must be God’s will.” Yet the truth is we have made mistakes, we always have and will continue to do so. We’re human and we make mistakes. We should thank God every day for His grace and mercy.
The problem I see with the church being an enterprise is that we tend to make our church the end, and not the means to bring people into relationship with Jesus. We are content if our enterprise gives us what we want and has a certain measure of success based on buildings, dollars and attendance. We are content if we can keep our groups together and have programs and services that meet our needs.
Our needs are not to be completely put aside, but we need to balance our needs with our obligation to reach and minister to the people in our communities.
Let’s look around us and see folks that need a relationship with Jesus and be willing to do anything that it takes to make that relationship happen.