In this week’s devotional, we are looking at a book by Chris Sonksen entitled Quit Church: Because Your Life Would be Better If You Did. In summary, the book is about how the church could be better. We hear sermons about the abundant life Jesus promised, but how many people are actually living it? How many people in our churches are experiencing God’s blessings? Maybe it’s time to call it quits from church. But not as you may think. Chris calls on us to quit our casual, cultural commitment to church as we know it. No more half-hearted attempts to win the favor of God and other people by doing the right thing. No more doing things out of a sense of duty. Instead, Sonksen reveals the spiritual habits that release the blessings of God, both on each individual and on the church.
Chapter 1; Quit Expecting to Wake Up in Heaven
“The reasons for people’s frustration in a church vary. Maybe they are upset because of a style change in the church. Maybe a certain program they love and believe in has ended. Maybe they feel like the decisions being made about finances are not the decisions they would make if they were in charge. Maybe they see a change in leadership that they don’t agree with or don’t understand. Maybe the methods are different than what they would choose. Maybe the church is putting a stronger emphasis on outreach, and in their opinion ignoring discipleship. This list isn’t exhaustive. Not always seeing eye to eye is normal. Having different opinions is normal. But what is sad and breaks the heart of God is that many individuals get frustrated or leave the church…” Excerpt from Quit Church, by Chris Sonksen
The so-called good-old-days when a person committed to a church, then stuck with it no matter what, have come to an end. Even so, people will commit when they have something worth committing to. There is no perfect local church in this world, but that’s not the issue. There are no perfect pastors, but that’s not the issue either. The basic issue is expectations as Chris Sonksen points out.
Many people enter through the doors of a local church as a consumer. We use many of the same evaluation techniques in “church shopping” we do in other areas of life. We want an effective staff since they will be doing much of the work. The churches worth committing to are the ones where people use their gifts, talents and experiences to serve God, and serve others. It is easy to to complain, point out what’s wrong and observe inconsistencies. What takes real work is agreeing to work toward solutions to the problems that exist in the local church.
Which means the next time we see something that we don’t like, it may be God pointing out how you can use your gifts to solve the problem. When people are part of the solution you won’t create the perfect church, but you will create a healthy church that is worth committing to.
- Have you ever been around a conversation in your extended church family that left you confused, unsettled, or feeling divided? If so, what was your response? How could you have responded better?
- Considering that the church is the bride of Christ, what steps can you take in the future to protect, guard, and honor the church?
- What can we do to be part of the solution?