When I was a kid I was allergic to almost everything. I took this test where they poked needles in my back and yep I was allergic to trees, grass, dogs, and cats. I then had to take allergy shots to build my resistance against those allergies. Over time I got over many of the things that bothered me because the shots kept exposing me to the things that I was allergic to in small doses. I tell you that wonderful story to talk about something else I am now allergic too and that is ineffective churches, outdated rules and religion. You want to know why people are resistant to Christ? Most of the time it springs from ineffective churches, outdated rules, and religion. When I get around a church immersed in poor leadership, legalism, and stuffy religion I feel like I am cuddling a cat (yep, very allergic to cats). I think my church allergy has grown because I now spend my life discovering ways to reinvent church for today rather than protecting ways we did church 50 years ago. When I get around old methods that clearly are not working anymore it almost like being in a house with mold…I HAVE TO GET AWAY. Here are a few things that kick my church allergy into next level craziness…
- Poor Leadership / I am amazed that so many churches allow people with little character and leadership ability to make decisions and have influence. For most churches the people who shout the loudest and give the most money have the most control. Only problem there is that Jesus never modeled that mindset. Churches need a revolution of Christ-like leaders to rise up and stop the noise.
- Poor Communication / seriously, I don’t blame people outside the church for not coming to church when I hear most communication inside the church. Poor may be a nice word for much that goes on today. We have the greatest message in all of history wrapped in Jesus Christ. we have no room for poor communication!
- Tradition Worship / not “traditional worship”, music is only preference. Worship of traditions on the other hand is nothing more than worshiping a small man-made God. Traditions make us feel in control. Worship of traditions only place us in control.
- Wasted Resources / think of all the resources being spent on dying organizations (churches). What if dying churches started giving their buildings to church plants that need space to grow? What an idea!
- Legalism / obsession with rules, procedures, dress, behavior is a passion for many churches. Our goal is to make disciples of Jesus not robots who follow rules.
- Inward Obsession / when you hear church leaders talk about how they are just focusing on helping the people who attend “grow” then you can bet they have not thought about reaching their city in a while. Inward obsession leads to a church culture club only interested in caring for one another. The others…those who have not found Christ get left outside our church doors.