He could have spoken to the world directly, but instead chose to use broken people to showcase his grace to a world in need of redemption.
For sure, community is messy.
People sin. Leaders are sinful.
Most of the New Testament is not a story of an idealized church where everything worked perfectly all the time (just read 1 Corinthians any time you’re frustrated with your church).
Most of the New Testament is a story of Jesus using his followers to spread his love in spite of themselves and as they overcome obstacle after obstacle.
The fact that Christ uses flawed people to accomplish his work on earth is actually a sign of his grace, not a sign of his absence.
The church’s story, as twisted as it gets at times, is a beautiful story of God’s grace, God’s power and God’s redemption.
So, by the way, is your life, which reflects the story of the church more than you would want to admit.
The church gives the world a front row seat to the grace of God.
The ultimate consumerism isn’t going to church…it’s walking away from it.
People criticize the church today as being consumeristic. And to some extent, churches cater to consumerism—often to our detriment. I agree that consumerism is a problem for Christianity.
But ironically, much of the dialogue about why people are done with church pushes people deeper into Christian consumerism than it pushes them into deeper discipleship: Here I am, all alone, worshiping God on my schedule when it’s convenient for me.
Listening to a podcast of your favorite preacher while you’re at the gym or on the back deck and pushing three of your favorite worship songs through your ear buds does not make you a more passionate Christ follower.
It usually makes you a less effective one.
Disconnecting yourself from community is actually less faithful than connecting yourself to a flawed community.
If you think the church today isn’t enough (and arguably, we need to reform it), then do what the early Christians did.
If you want a more biblical church…don’t gather weekly, gather daily. Before dawn.
Get up before the sun rises to pray together with other Christians before you go to work. Pool your possessions. Don’t claim anything as your own.
Be willing to lose your job, your home, your family and even your life because you follow Jesus.
Then you’ll be more authentic.
And notice that the early church did indeed gather.
Gathering always leads to some form of organizing.
To pretend the church doesn’t need to be organized is as logical arguing that society doesn’t need to be organized.
Because community is inevitable, organization is inevitable.
Our ability to organize and to accomplish more together than we can alone is one of the crowning achievements of humanity, and our ability to work together makes Christian effort far more effective.