I don’t know how much longer I can stomach the fake church.
Know what I mean?
The “church” that looks more like a cheap Vegas act than a gathering of sinners drinking from the fountain of grace that flows from Emmanuel’s veins. There is a style of Churchianty that is all about the tinsel and lights, it’s not about Him. A Church-centered Church is no biblical church. The Church doesn’t exist for herself, no more than a Bride exists to be a Bride for the sake of being a Bride. The Church is a Bride for the Groom—for Christ. Remember the movies where a woman tries on a wedding dress and does it for her own enjoyment? That’s exactly how many churches operate. They put on their shows, their decanted ghost-written sermons, and gawk at themselves in the reflections of their satellite campus cameras. “Lights, camera, actions…oh yeah, and Jesus too”. There will be a big judgment for these men. Jesus will handle these charlatans at the Eschaton.
But this should give us an awkward pause of reflection.
We Have The Same Temptations
For those of us that aren’t Barnum and Bailey churches, here’s what we can do. Crucify the tiny impulse in our hearts for our own glory. Keep killing it. It’s a deep rooted weed in the sidewalk of the heart.
Do you squirm over the attendance? Do you obsess over the budget and tithe? If we are honest with ourselves (this is so difficult, I know) we can see that same embarrassing desire that Circus Act Community Church has capitalized on (and mastered), we see it hiding in our heart. We aren’t any better than the Clown Car Pastor—we aren’t better than anyone. What we must do is take the boards out of our eyes, so we can see what’s up in our hearts.
All We Can Do
Here’s all we can do: faithfully proclaim the glories of the gospel. If you are a pastor, that is your job. Period. You don’t have to be a catalytic empire maker. The Bible puts zero pressure on you to be an entre-pastor. You are responsible for a solid, sincere, lifting up of Jesus. Who cares about the light show—you have the Light of the World, and let him shine from your open Bible, week after week. A man that will faithfully exposit God’s Word is more precious to a local church, more needed, essential, than a catalytic leader of worship environments. A biblical church doesn’t need a shiny and suhweet worship service; it needs the gospel.
Leave the circus. It’s not that great; cause here’s the thing about circus-driven churches–as soon as a better show rolls into town, you lose. But if your church is about Jesus, you never lose. You can’t lose. (Cause it’s not about you anyways.) Jesus doesn’t lose. And really, Jesus is more amazing than any show we can fashion. A risen Nazarene is more amazing than having motorcycles on your stage. Trust me.
Don’t long for a great production more than you long to proclaim a bloody crucifixion and wonderful resurrection.