I grew up in church. My dad has been a pastor for over 30 years at the church he founded. It wasn’t until I went to college in Virginia and tried to find a church of my own that I realized all pastor’s are not the same. I honestly thought that the majority of Christian pastor’s loved people. That they understood the importance of the Bible, and that competition was not something to be known for. As I started looking around at other churches and meeting other pastor’s, I realized that that is far from the truth. My dad is an unusual kind. He loves people. Period. And when a church moved in on the same street as us in our small town many years ago, he wanted nothing more than the best for them. Why is that?
Because church is not supposed to be a competition.
We are on the same team, peeps! But here is the problem. I am seeing over and over and over again, churches building themselves up by tearing other churches down. Now of course, they are not calling out specific churches, because that would be awful blatant. But there is a pretty serious missing-of-the-main-point when this begins to happen. I am privileged to be part of a group of over 5,000 christian women photographers all over the U.S. Within this group, church is something that we all talk about frequently. This whole church-competition things is going on all over the place, in every state. It’s mind blowing really, because all we are supposed to do is display God’s glory. That’s it. As a person, as a family, as a church…our goal should be to do nothing more than display God’s glory.
How do we do that? By showing what He does.
He is love, so we show love.
He is gracious, so we show grace.
He is forgiving, so we show forgiveness.
He is merciful, so we show mercy.
He doesn’t keep a record of wrong, so we don’t keep a record of wrong.
And that’s the way churches should be run. Sadly, churches are confusing people who don’t know what the purpose of church is. These people don’t know who God is, what God is like and how God loves. And when they see people being unloving, not showing grace, not forgiving, not extending mercy, keeping records of wrong? They get confused. And why wouldn’t they? They hear us saying that they need to meet God, but if they base who God is on the way we treat the church, it makes no sense to them. We need to be better than that. We need to be displaying God’s glory more accurately. We do not display God’s glory when we are not acting the way God acts. I read a really interesting article called 5 Really bad reasons to leave your church. It’s good, and it’s spot on. It goes along with everything I’m saying. Leaving your church for any of those reasons, and then joining another is confusing to people around you. Don’t fall into that trap. Building up your church, by putting down other *hypothetical* churches is also confusing to people around you. Acting in ways that do not bring glory to God is yet another way to confuse people around you. Don’t do that. Is my church better than your church? Of course not. It’s not about that.
It’s not about you.
It’s not about your numbers, your programs, your pastors, your building… none of it.
It is about displaying God’s glory. How well are you displaying?