When you think of the church, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
To a large degree, your answer has a dramatic impact on how you lead, perhaps even on how you pursue God.
I love the Church, even with its flaws.
That’s the two-sided tension. God is perfect; we are not.
The Church is imperfect, so there will always be problems to solve, but if we’re not careful, we’ll only see the problems because, as leaders, it’s our responsibility to solve them.
There are problems to solve, and as leaders, we must solve them. However, we must also lift our eyes above the problems to see the beauty and power of the church at its best, to remember where we are headed and why.
We tend to see what we look for and focus on, so it’s important not to allow human imperfection to blind us from the beauty of the Church as God designed it to be.
The source of beauty in the Church is the eternal nature of God’s unending love and Jesus’ selfless sacrifice for our redemption.
We see the beauty in things such as:
The source of the power in the Church (the body of Christ) is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father sent in Jesus’ name. (John 14:26)
We see that power in action through things such as:
- Spiritual wisdom far beyond our own.
- Transformation to new life
- Answers to prayer
- Communities, cities, and countries impacted for good
- Miraculous intervention
See the Church as God intended:
His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:10-12)
As you read through the five points, take a moment of reflection for two things:
- What are the areas in which you can thank God for His presence and power in your church?
- What one area might your church step up for an even stronger ministry?
1. In Its Purest Form, the Church Seeks Nothing for Itself.
When you see the church as Jesus sees it (The Father’s love, redemption, unified community, and hope), you know the potential. You see only problems when you see the church through conflict, hurt, disappointment, or even cynicism.
The nature of God’s love and the example of Jesus’ life seeks nothing for self. That may seem way out of reach for us, yet, that is our example.
Let’s look at an obvious and practical illustration.