Intro: Many people both Christian and non-Christian can look at the Church and struggle with what they see. Perhaps, it’s because they don’t understand what they are looking at, maybe they have a biased perspective, or maybe they have a point. In any case, as Pastors & Leaders we need to be able to hear our critics, embrace them, love them, listen and learn.
If we can open our hearts and listen, we can learn from the voice of our critics and their perspectives. My friend Tim follows Jesus, yet finds himself a critic of the Church that represents Jesus. I invited him to write a blog so we could all hear and learn from his perspective. Thanks Tim for helping us see and being our teacher. – Rick Dunn, Executive Director of GLI
5 reasons Why I am a skeptic of the Evangelical Church:
- Marketing – several mega-churches that I am aware of have entire marketing departments to draw in new attenders — I mean sinners — no, the broken — no, the unsaved…you know what I mean? The clever church names today are a riot: Branch, Ethos, Flood, Etnos. And don’t get me started on the fashion forward pastors! Is loving, serving and being a Christian not enough to engage the community? Seeing the impact Christ has in a person’s life cultivated through His disciples is powerful; shouldn’t that be enough to reach a lost and broken world?
- Coffee shops/book stores/cafes/beauty solons…really? Didn’t Jesus turn over the tables at the temple because of people using the temple of God for their own personal gain? Pastors today can leverage the church to sell their books, at times for their own personal gain. Besides that, it seems like anything will be done to get people inside the doors long enough to hear about the new building project. It all smells like agenda.
- Mega-Buildings – The Catholic Church is massive and yet they keep most of their buildings about the same size. Evangelicals build massive boxes with theatre seating, Hollywood sound stages, and Broadway lighting. I thought I was coming to hear about the humble Christ whom didn’t even have a home and this is where we worship Him? Is being a Christian to be this comfy? This plush? I don’t think so.
- Pastors – Talk about people who are out of touch with what real people deal with! It must be nice to see thousands of people handing over their money to pay your salary. What do they do after Sunday? How long does it take to write a sermon? Do they really need to be paid for their “jobs”? Paul made tents and Jesus was a carpenter! They are paid to pray, read and speak…sign me up!
- Me! The truth is, I’m the biggest problem. I sit back and yap about how bad the Church is and yet I am not making an effort to change it. I’m a skeptic because it’s easier, being a skeptic is playing small ball and not diving into the battle and fighting for what I believe in. It’s being safe on the outside.
The church may have lost touch with our culture and that might be a good thing. Maybe it’s time to teardown the mega-church buildings and suffer for the sake of Christ. Suffering is good and I think we’ve bought into the idea, from our culture, that suffering is negative. When we suffer together we live in truth together.
For what it’s worth here’s my ideal church:
Sundays, we would come together to serve the community. Feed the homeless, care for the elderly, pray for the sick and then have communion together. During the week, if we had a building, our building would be a place for the least of these. We would host English classes, writing courses, strategize how to bring God’s Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. At night it would be a homeless shelter. We’d play games, read, pray and sing before bed. We would have showers and brand new clothing (underwear and socks). When too many people would want in we would branch off and start another location and so forth. There wouldn’t be one pastor leading the flock…it would be the flock leading the flock…prayer would be our focus and lots of it.