It is so easy for me to find fault with the Church. And it's really easy for me to criticize things at my own church. (Sorry, Pastor Wade) When I'm in that frame of mind, here's what is hard for me to accept – I am the Church.
When I am criticizing and making grandiose lists in my head about where I feel the Church is missing the mark, I am rarely thinking about contributing to a solution.
It looks something like this: I think to myself, “No wonder the Church is declining. Who would want to become part of a group that is filled with so much in-fighting?”
Then, I find myself debating (ahem, arguing) with other Church people about theology, Christian liberties, and methods of how to “be a good minister.”
See what happened there? I was living out the thing I was complaining about.
On the other hand, the converse will also be true. If I want the Church to be more compassionate, for example, then I need to be more compassionate. If I want the Church to be forgiving, then I need to forgive. And the list goes on!I am trying to be intentional and more and more these days I catch myself thinking “me, the Church” instead of “we, the Church.” I even do it when I hear other people speak this way. It is incredibly convicting! The more we can put off the negative thoughts and criticisms, we, the Church will be better for it… << See, I did it again. I will be better for it.