There are millions of Christians in America, and I could not begin to count how many of them are trying to fix the church right now, even just as I'm typing this. However many it might be, it's a huge number. And here I am, adding my name to the list again.
And all those people with fixes are right.
The ones complaining the church is too effiminate and drives men away are right. The ones complaining the church is too patriarchal and drives women away are right. The emergent church is right and those pressing for more commitment to the churches we already have are right. Insightful saints are recommending we correct our doctrine, our worship, our practice, our preaching, our prayer, our evangelism, our methodology, our spontaneity, and our focus. And they're all right.
The focus of this blog has been to correct how distantly we live from our churches so we can spend time with each other more easily. I'll even allow as I've been right, too. Why should I be any harder on myself than on millions of my brothers and sisters?
And the status quo of millions of Americans questioning the status quo is more or less working. By and large, Americans feel at home in that kind of melee. I believe there are cultures out there that like to complain without being inconvenienced by real change. Americans are a couple shakes and a wiggle more comfortable with change than some, so we see a certain (smallish) amount of change in our churches and feel pretty good about things.
And by and large, our little changes make some things a little better and some things a little worse. We have churches that preach a little better, worship a little better, practice a little better, and perform a little better. The status quo of complaining about how things could be better continues and the little changes continue and things get a little better and people seem to stay about as happy as they want to be.
So how does one little Codepoke swim in that mighty river of status and quo?
For starters, I wonder if just maybe my little blog won't be able to fix the church in my lifetime. (Saying that kind of hurts, "right here.") (Point to any of the usual places, and you've probably guessed right about where it hurts.) I'm disenchanted with social media as a whole (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, IM, game consoles, iPod, etc.). In fact, I'm really learning to fear social media. In deeper fact, I'm even tempted to try to fix the church by arraying her as a mighty army against social media, but maybe I know one half-nutty voice can't save the world. Or maybe the irony of blogging against church blogging stops me. Who knows?
Here's what I know.
The Lord did not send me to fix the church, as badly as I wanted that sending. I pretty confident He's sent me to add a blessing or two to the little church where I hang my hat, and maybe given me a couple thoughts to share with people who visit this little blog. I'll enjoy doing those two things.
Today my heart is to blog a bit about Jesus in the church, and I hope to do that for a couple weeks. Jesus is more real, bigger, holier, and more loving than we can hold in our minds for more than a few minutes. I'd like to blog a little about how the church can appreciate Jesus in her midst a little more. The love of our brothers and sisters should make tangible the reality of Jesus, and anything we can do to make that happen is a good thing.
May the Lord bless and have mercy on this little series.