The Problem with the Church

Erik Cooper —  September 8, 2010 — 1 Comment

The problem with the church isn’t poor leadership.

It’s not large, debt drowned buildings.

Or runaway wall-street-like organizational models.

The problem isn’t ignorance of injustice.

Old-fashioned stodgy tradition.

Conflicting expressions of “worship.”

Or a lack of authentic community.

The problem isn’t passionless pastors.

Anemic teaching.

The wrong model of discipleship.

Misaligned partnerships.

Or climbing in bed with politics.

It’s not myopic strategy.

Apathetic fat-cat church boards.

Lack of creativity.

Or cultural irrelevance.

All these things may describe churches with problems. But not one of them is The Problem with the church.

That’s because the unequivocal, undeniable, unmistakable problem with the church is…

No, not me the guy writing this post (although I surely play my part). Me the concept. Me the pursuit. Me the idol.

There is an insatiable human desire to recreate a gospel that serves this Me. To build a Me-kingdom (perhaps on a mass of underpriced swampland in Central Florida). Formulating, casting, and then bowing down to a god that serves my projection of the way the world should be. A god that will go along on my ride. To my chosen destination.

This Me-god is made in my image. Made for my purpose.

That, my friends, is the problem with the church.

It’s full of Me.

Everything else is just a symptom.

But it’s easier to blame the system. The organization.  The money.  The style.  The committees.  It’s safer that way.  To point at a lifeless structure.  At them.  Because Me doesn’t like to deal with Me. It’s more cost-effective to blame everything else.

The cure to this illness doesn’t lie in the newest trends. The latest books. Or a throwback to good ol’ George Bush strategery. It’s more radical than that.

Me has to surrender.  To come out from hiding.  To give it up.  Me has to embrace it’s cross.  Me has to die (no, not literally for  you Jim Jones fanatics out there). Then Christ can truly live.

So the problem with the Church isn’t really a problem with the Church.  It’s a problem with Me.

Thankfully, a problem Jesus came to solve. If Me will just let Him.

One response to The Problem with the Church

  1. Loved the writing and the words are so true – when we get the ME out and give ME to the Lord – he will do mighty things in our lives. God is so good to us.

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