The Church Thrives Even Under Criticism

I love the local church!

Though flawed and imperfect, the beauty of the local church is truly amazing.

Consider the big picture of the Church:

God birthed it.
Jesus died for it.
The Holy Spirit empowers it.

It works because of volunteers.
It serves people for free.
Everyone is welcome.

It’s fully human.
It inhabits the supernatural.
It proves miracles still happen.

It started in houses.
It fills stadiums.
And it cannot be contained.

It loves the lowly.
It blesses the meek.
And offers grace to anyone who will bow.

I just can’t get tired of the church!

When people find me to complain about and criticize the church, I quickly admit the flaws of my church and the Church in general.

12Stone Worship

There simply is no perfect church. But candidly, the church remains the greatest hope in the world, now more so than ever.

Every day I get up grateful to serve and help make it better!

Don’t you sometimes wonder what might happen if instead of leaving a church when someone got mad about something, they rolled up their sleeves and helped fix the problem! I think that’s the stuff of great awakenings.

When you add to that the pressure that pastors are under, it’s no wonder churches can struggle and become distracted from their clear purpose and plan.

It’s impossible to keep up with all the demands and expectations placed on the church. There is certainly no shortage of opinions. So it’s a good idea to go back to the foundation and remember the basics.

Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest football coaches of all time, was famous for saying: “Gentlemen,”, holding a pigskin in his right hand, “this is a football.”

Lombardi understood the importance and power of the fundamentals.

I think that’s important for us as church leaders too.

The Fundamentals: (Ephesians chapters 3 and 4.)

God’s Purpose

Redemption has always been God’s purpose. God’s love is so great that He gave His Son to restore our eternal relationship with Him.

The need was established in the Garden of Eden; it was paid for on the cross and completed in the moment of the resurrection. Everything the church does is based on this foundational purpose.

10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11 according to his eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 

Ephesians 3:10-12

God’s Power

God chose man to lead the church, but without His power, nothing of eternal impact can take place. The fact that He has entrusted us with His power through the Holy Spirit is truly mind-blowing.

God has empowered us with His authority and promised to always be with us!

16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ…

Ephesians 3:16-18

God’s People

We are the church! And even though God’s grace is abundant, He never gave us a pass to live in any way we choose.

Not only are each of us called to live in a way that would honor God individually, but to live it out together in unity and peace.

The body of Christ is a powerful force for good when it functions well together as a team. No matter how hard the Enemy tries to shut the church down, He will never win.

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have receivedBe completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Ephesians 4:1-6

God’s Plan

God did not plan for us to attend church merely to sit, listen to a sermon, and go home. That’s a good place to begin, but there’s more. He created us on purpose with a purpose.

God gave each of us gifts so that we can serve others to build the body of Christ to maturity. There is great strength in maturity. It’s amazing to realize that each of us has a personal part in the Kingdom of God.

12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 

Ephesians 4:12-13

When people complain about the church, don’t get defensive. Love them anyway and invite them to help.

Focus on the basics; the fundamentals will always serve you well!

8 thoughts on “The Church Thrives Even Under Criticism”

  1. Richard Faulkner

    Amen Dan! Maturity matters and the emotional and spiritual growth of the church, individually and collectively, is something we all have a stake in.

    If we are to be known by the way we love one another, all the more important it is that we return daily to the basics. The core fundamentals of Christ’s command of love, that we abide in that love and lead in love.

    That is a daily calling for everyone who claims kinship in Christ and the place I go knowing that, though I am flawed, Jesus loves me anyway.

  2. Eddie Anderson

    Dan, thanks for this reminder; it doesn’t matter if it’s the church, your job, your home, or other environment, Lord, please make us people who are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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