We can be considerate in inconsiderate ways. Considerate can be defined as “careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others.”
As the body of Christ, we can actually think we are being considerate not to inconvenience or hurt others, but act on those thoughts in inconsiderate ways.
When the heart of a church cannot connect with the hands of the church, it can be a very difficult thing for everyone. The congregation can feel like it is not connecting in meaningful ways with its surrounding community. The board can feel overwhelmed with its responsibility, and the pastor can feel worthless.
Here are seven beliefs that can contribute to church paralysis.
I am sure you could add more and (as usual) I would love to hear them.
1. The belief that the church is here to fix people.
We can completely lose our ability to effectively “in-reach” as well as “outreach” if we try to fix people. We are broken beyond repair.
The great work of the church through the power of the Gospel is to make disciples. A true disciple is not an easy person to fix because he or she is constantly in process. The church needs to come alongside, serve and love them through discipleship rather than equip them for church culture.
What a church does with the poor, homeless, oppressed, marginalized etc. that God has placed in its sphere of influence is indicative of its doctrine. Do we take a hands off approach because we have never had success with “them”? The focus in the above verse is on what the righteous DO, not what kind of results the righteous get.
A church in process looks forward while a church that fixes people takes inventory.
2. The belief that younger people and new members need to prove themselves faithful before they will be heard.
“And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10.13-16″>Mark 10:13-16 ESV)
I see many churches that do not know what to do with children. They interrupt, cry, play games, say the wrong things and in many people’s minds are not really contributing to society in any meaningful or productive way.
There is difference between being a child and being childish. In the above verse, it is amazing how Jesus shows this distinction to his disciples.
He rebukes his followers for their childishness while blessing and laying hands on children. Today, a church that can’t handle mess in a child’s diaper usually cannot handle the mess of a new member or new believer.
Childishness will paralyze a church faster than anything.