All the believers were one in heart and mind. (Acts 4:32)
“THE CHURCH IS FULL of hypocrites!” Have you ever heard this complaint? I have listened to many former church attenders use this rationale for why they aren’t a part of a church anymore.
The vision of the church that is described at the end of Acts 4 is the church everyone dreams of attending—where everyone gets along, people care for each other’s needs, everyone loves their pastors, and people hang out at each other’s houses regularly to share life. Unfortunately, even in the early church this ideal picture was stained with the problems of real life. Persecution. Hypocritical members. Arguments among leaders. You name it.
This shift often happens to us now. You start attending a church that you just love. But the longer you stay, the more problems you encounter. You may even leave to find another “better” church. Eventually, after enough failed attempts to find a flawless church, many people choose to be done with the institution altogether. Bad idea.
Don’t bail out on church. Jesus is committed to his church not because of her current state of beauty, but because of his vision of what she can become. Jesus was willing to get close enough to people to be hurt by them, even die for them, because he could see ahead to the day when we, the imperfect church, would become his radiant and spotless bride.
Stay engaged in your church even when you face challenges.
Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway Church, Warsaw, Indiana. He is the author of Jaded Faith (WPH).
© 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.