One of the easiest things in the world to do, especially if your British, is to stand and criticise. It’s so simple to see flaws in a person, in the global church or in a Christian denomination when you’re standing outside of it. Many people like to point out flaws, to point the finger and criticise but do they ever come up with solutions?
In recent days and weeks my social media timelines have been full of people pointing fingers at the church. “They’re doing that again, didn’t they learn last time?” or “When are they going to stop being silly and understand the situation?” or “what on Earth do they think they’re doing?” Don’t get me wrong, we do need to raise questions and point out legitimate problems in the church but we also need to come up with solutions and actually do something about it.
I know that it isn’t just a British thing, people like to complain. People moan about the music, about the preacher or the sermon series, people moan about the length of the service and about the toddler that started crying in the service. There are somethings that really don’t matter and do not need to be addressed!
But if you’re seeing something that really bothers you and is a legitimate problem, what are you doing about it?
It’s easy to sit back and moan, it’s easy to criticise without knowing the full picture and it’s easy to wrap gossip up as a prayer point with a friend over coffee. But all that does is add fuel to the fire!
Instead of pointing the finger why not lend a helping hand?!?
Do you see a problem with the music in your church? Raise it with the church leadership with a desire to see the band serve the whole church to the best of their ability. Do you see a problem with a preachers style? Why not take the time to learn how to give honest and helpful feedback to help him grow in his preaching? Do you have a problem with the sermon series? Why not ask the leadership why they chose it and you’ll probably find out they had good reasons.
I recently lead a small group together with my wife discussing the question from Michael Ots’s book ‘What kind of God?” This particular night we were discussing the chapter “What kind of God let’s the church represent Him?”
That group could easily have turned into a free for all as we all said our piece about the problems in the global church or it could have been helpful! We used the time to discuss the reasons why the church is seen as a divided and judgmental body but we didn’t stop there. We looked at things that we could practically do to bring about change.
Any change takes time, you cannot change a culture over night, but slowly and bit by bit, if we all start to help out instead of shooting others down then we could bring about real change.
The problem is that it takes time, it takes sacrifice and it means that we need to put our actions where our mouths are! It’s so easy to see and talk about a problem, it’s more difficult to think about a solution or a better way forward.
Here are a few questions to consider next time you want to point out a problem in the church:
- Am I raising this because I don’t like it, or because God doesn’t?
- Is my criticism based on a desire to see the church grow in its obedience to and service of Christ?
- Can I do something about this problem even before I mention it to anyone?
- How can I approach this situation in a way that glories God, builds up my brothers and sisters in Christ and seeks first the Kingdom of God?
This is by no means an extensive list, but hopefully it will prevent us from being people who simply point the finger without lifting a finger. The Bible describes the church as the household of God, therefore, we should be aware of problems in our family but we also should address them well. It’s easy to point out a problem but it’s far better to point out a problem and already be working to remedy that problem.
Every member of the body of Christ has a role to play in the up building of the church until Christ returns to meet His bride. Let’s do something about it! Let’s not just point the finger but let’s lift a finger and become part of the solution not the problem.