I think every believer comes to this point after a time of journey with Christ. Someone in the church disappoints us, we’ve left our hearts open and vulnerable, and we get burned.
Then, we wonder.
What is the deal with church? Do I really need to be there, to leave my heart unguarded? What does Jesus care? I can read my Bible at home, worship Him by myself in the safety and convenience of my own time.
At the ACFW Conference last month, I had the privilege of sitting with a new author at lunch. Caleb Jennings Breakey, whose book Following Jesus Without Leaving The Church, is releasing soon by Harvest House Publishers. Caleb inspired me with what he had to say on this topic, and with his realness (there’s no word that fits better).
He also got me thinking and doing some studying of my own. One verse I came across was in Acts 20 when Paul is talking to some leaders of the Ephesian church for the last time. He says, “Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
Jesus loved the church—He died for the church. If I’m going to take that Him seriously, and take the things He loved seriously, then that includes the church.
Let’s face it. Many times it is the same handful of people carrying out the church’s mission. No matter whether it is a big church or small church, the fact is the same. And sure, there are many times of joy and satisfaction, but when those times wear thin, when we come face to face with the inevitable imperfectness of the church, I encourage you to remember how dear the body of Christ was to our Savior. Let’s get real about Jesus and the legacy he left us—His church.
For that is certainly one legacy I don’t want to miss out on.
Click here for more information on Caleb’s book and DVD series.
Have you ever been discouraged with other Christians or with the church? How did you deal with it? Why do you think many young Christians leave the church? How can we change this?