(Continued from my previous post. Read that first.)
. . . But why is it that so many churches focus on one of those gifts, at the expense of the other two? I understand there are churches that are made up completely of one kind of people. But the sad trend that’s built up among many of these congregations is that they argue with other churches that their gift is the “right” gift.
Let me use an example. X Church on South St. is made up of people who are great students of the Scriptures. They know the Word of God inside and out, and they are well versed in proclaiming the truths embedded in the Bible. “Christ was the greatest Teacher that ever lived, and we are his students, charged with becoming teachers ourselves. So we must give ourselves over to the study of the Word,” is the motto of X Church.
But along comes Y Church on Bank St. Y Church is made up of people who have been given the gift of a humble servant attitude. They pour God’s grace into the community around them, serving food to the homeless of the town, rebuilding dilapidated or devastated homes of the needy, and handing out free newspapers to the commuters at the train station. Y Church’s motto is this: “Christ served the least of these. He stooped down and became a Servant to the people of earth. As Christ’s servants, we too must share that spirit of servanthood.”
And then Z Church opens up on Morris St. full of people who know what it means to love and connect with others. Everyone at Z Church devotes their time to listening to each other, learning about each other’s hurts and desires, and filling each other with love and grace. “Christ knew how to connect with people lovingly and without judgment. As the children of God and brothers and sisters with Christ, we must learn to love sacrificially.”
But X Church thinks Y Church is lenient with their doctrine. And Y Church thinks Z Church is too busy having conversations instead of working. And Z Church thinks X Church is cold and unfeeling. And X Church thinks Z Church relies too heavily on emotions rather than rational thought. And Z Church thinks Y Church has no concept of the true heart and longing of the people they claim to be serving. And Y Church thinks X Church believes themselves to be smarter than anyone else, which is why they won’t serve the community.
So a church war breaks out. X Church takes out an ad in the local paper calling Y Church heretical. And Z Church puts a PSA on the local radio station calling X Church stuffy and boring.
And all three churches have forgotten why they’re doing what they’re doing. They’ve forgotten whom they belong to. They’ve forgotten that Christ longs to reveal himself through them. . .
(Post continued here. . .)