Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Frenzy of Activity

We live in a culture that seems to thrive on being busy. The idea is that if we simply try harder, we will accomplish our goals. This concept creeps its way into the church.We think that if we simply work hard enough, we will accomplish the work of God. And that if we come up with enough clever strategies or impressive programs, we will be successful. And that if we follow the right methods and procedures, our congregations will grow in numbers; and that is the main goal. This is often based on the idea of promoting the organization, rather than promoting God's purposes. And the power of God and the character of the congregation can be seen as unimportant. But Scripture would direct us to rely on the power of God (Colossians 1:28,29; Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 3:6,7). And the chief goal of this power is to change people from the inside (Galatians 5:16-23; 2 Peter 1: 3-9; Matthew 22:35-40).

Now this approach to running a church organization ends up loading people down with heavy burdens, which they are simply unable to bear. And it judges people based on the extent of outward activity. It often does this to Christians who are new in their faith and have not yet developed the spiritual foundation in their lives to stand up to this pressure. It sets people up for burnout and discouragement. It results in a Christianity which is superficial and external. The result is churches that send their time flogging dead horses. Trying to nag immature Christians into doing things they do not have the character to support. Also, when people with this mindset encounter people with the comfortable church mindset there is a major collision. It does not help that the frenzied doers are often leaders (they are after all more motivated), and the seekers of comfort are often those under the leaders. I am convinced that many of the conflicts in the present church are a result of these attitudes clashing.

Now I am not against activity. But I am convinced that activity should flow from the inner character of the person. When we try to promote activity for activity's sake, we are trusting in ourselves. But we need to trust in God  and His power (Proverbs 3:5,6; Psalm 127:1,2; 37:3-6). And we need to see that what is important is what is in our hearts and not our external activities (1 Samuel 16:7; Romans 2:16; Matthew 23:25-28).

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