Monday, January 30, 2012

I AM TIRED OF CHURCH by John Hawkins, Pastor of Center Pointe Church


I am tired of church or I should say I am tired of churchianity. I am tired of the politics, the power struggles, the emotional immaturity (present company excepted), the expectations, the hypocrisy, the personality disorders, the inauthenticity, the hidden agendas, the selfishness, the apathy, the spiritual laziness. the lack of honesty, the defensiveness in people, the insensitivity to others, the pride, the made up lists of do’s and don’ts, the judgmental attitudes, the plastic smiles and fake love, the critical and negative attitudes, the stinginess, the unbelief, the rebellion to truth, and give me a minute and I’ll think of a few other things while I am on a role. I am tired of how we took something God made simple and for the purpose of building our relationship with him and others and institutionalized it. We have organized it, complicated it, hierarchied it, and paralyzed it so it no longer does what God intended it to do. We have split it into a thousand factions so it no longer functions in unity as one body and fulfills the mission Jesus gave to it.

Perhaps I am being too broad in my indictment. I can not speak for the church at large in the world, I am not an expert on the subject. My frame of reference and experience is the church in America where I have pastored for 38 years. Does this all sound too cynical or negative? I have had plenty of people as I would invite them to church use one or several of these reasons for not coming. Even as a pastor I have felt this way at times. I think most pastors have at one time or another if they were honest. At times we question our call and tell God we want to quit and go do something else. He is ok but we just can’t stand people. I think Jesus felt a little like this when he came into the world and started to work with the “church” (religious crowd of His day). He turned things upside down and was a real contrarian when it came to the whole religious thing. Read the sermon on the mount sometime – as the new Moses He gave us the new way.

Contrary to how this sounds I am not some cynical, bitter preacher ready to give up on the church and go sell cars (though I have told God several times I was done). Rather as someone with more years of ministry behind me than in front of me I want to make my final years count. I want to find the simplicity of what true ministry is about. I think it has something to do with building relationships not organizations, buildings, programs, empires, or being successful. I think it is about leaving a legacy of lives my life has touched for God. Maybe this is too idealistic or naive but I am going to try to find my way in this. I would rather do this than become the cynical preacher who gives up on the church. Maybe I just haven’t been doing it right. You are never too old to learn. recently a mentor I work with gave me some thoughts on focusing your life for the second half. They were pretty helpful to me, allow me to leave them with you they are from author Dave Legg:

Slow your pace.
Narrow your focus.
Focus on things that strike passion and desire in your heart.
Focus on people more than programs.
Measure life in terms of people.
Invest your life by investing in people.
Give the whole gospel and not just the salvation piece of the gospel.
Commit to community and its high importance at this time in your life.

No comments: