This past Sunday, Cindy I visited a church in the area as I had the Sunday off here at MCC. We hope MCC will be doing some things with this congregation. It is a relatively new congregation (about 4 years old). The people were incredibly friendly and excited about what God was doing. After the service, I spoke with one of the men on the leadership team. He said he had come out of a church that had been around for decades. The people there are wonderful Christian people and love the Lord. But he said the one drawback was when changes were made, he got tired of hearing people say, “My church is gone.”
I didn’t say anything. I just listened. But I thought that those people probably would admit if they were pressed on it, that the church is not “theirs”. It is the Lord’s Church. As I said, he did credit them with loving God and being Christian people. So it wasn’t like he was condemning them (which none of us has the authority to do). But I did hear and could understand his frustration. We need to clean up our language. And those people need to be corrected and reminded that the church is the Lord’s church. Jesus said in Matt. 16:18 “…I will build my church…” In Acts 20:28 Paul told the elders of the church in Ephesus “to care for the church of God, which He obtained with His own blood.” It is God’s church.
We forget that at times. The church is the Lord’s. If changes are made which are things that can change, we should be open-minded. If changes are being made to the things that cannot change – that’s another matter.
I did tell him to remember that when future generations come along and may want to change some things he has grown fond of. He smiled and then laughed and said, “Yeah I realize that. I will remember.” There are some things we need to hold with a loose grip. And there are things we need to hold to like glue. We need to pray for the Holy Spirit to help us grow in wisdom to know the difference. Pray for God to open our minds and hearts to what He is calling us to do to reach people in this area of Nashville and people we encounter. Let’s be willing to, as Paul said, become all things to all people that by all means we might save some. He did that without compromising on the authority of God’s word or on the truth of the gospel. May we follow his example.