I’ve said it before, I’m saying it again, the role that The Church has played in hurting individuals in the past is no testimony to what the mission is and is certainly no reflection on the grace God has extended to every sinner, and that’s us! Can we see it? Can we acknowledge it? Most often it has been over the most pharisaical of matters.
I have seen in our own family, and seen the outcome, when people walk away hurt and determined never to return. It’s more than regrettable.
My friend Doug has written an article for Faith Today and includes this as part of the introduction:
“The outgoing tide influenced by Covid has exposed a plethora of preexisting conditions – a lack of soul care among Christians, the shallowness of our discipleship, our disconnectedness from one another and a dislocation of our mission from our contextual neighborhoods.
Many pastors and other Christians have regrets about what these problems imply about the quality and effectiveness of our ministry and our secret inner desires to see authentic growth and depth of faith in the communities we serve.”
His reflection on what has been under water, below the surface, but just as real as anything above the surface is truthful. Covid is the time for The Church to determine not only what it’s about, but who it’s about. Are we for ourselves or for the lost, the lonely, the people who Jesus seeks? It’s the age old question, but over the past number of years as we’ve gained prominence and affluence we’ve grown less than gracious (at times).
So Doug raises some issues, but he also raises a challenge. Here’s how he puts it:
“Can we turn the dialogue into a genuine call to hear God’s voice speaking – not through our pontification and analysis alone but through what God is revealing to his people?”