Thursday, September 19, 2013

When the Church is full, but hearts are empty

I read an article about a Mega Church that downsized because half of their membership were just sitting in the pew and not really contributing to the body.  After thinking it was a real church for weeks I just found out that it is all a joke.  Ha, but why did it stay in my mind all this time? Maybe because I think the church does need a wake up call.   The article talked about how the leadership went through the list of folks and out of the 8,000 folks who came on Sundays only about half of those gave any of their time, talents, or finances to the ministry of the church.  They enjoyed the free childcare, the gathering of nice people, the great music, and charismatic speaker but they never actually engaged their own lives and hearts.  The folks at Lark news were on to something.

As a Mom I think of it in these terms:  If Zack were to sit before a healthy meal that I spent time cooking for him and he rejected all the food that was good for his body, but ate a large piece of cake, I would not be happy. I wouldn't feel proud of my son for finishing his piece of cake. I wouldn't be posting on pinterest how to get your son to eat cake and feeling like I was the best Mom ever because chocolate is consumed with such zeal in my house.  So it goes with the church, church leaders get so proud of the size of their worship center and the bottoms that fill the pews that they have no idea that their people are getting fat on cake and are not growing at all in their intimacy with Jesus.

I am honestly heart broken over the lack of real depth in the church.  Jesus is calling us to true intimacy with Himself.  He calls us his friends, His BRIDE!  He says "Come to me!"  He beckons us to "Life abundantly", and yet so many of the people he dearly loves have no idea that there is even such a thing as intimacy with Jesus. They think that being a Christian means to ascribe to a set of values, attend church, and be nice. 

Jesus wants more for his bride. He wants His bride to enjoy Him and to know Him. He wants his bride to hear his voice and have joy in His presence. He wants His bride to walk intimately with Him on every day of the week.  What husband would be content to see his bride for 2 hours on a Sunday morning?  A husband marries his bride because he wants to live with her, to know her, to walk with her when life is hard and when life is in full swing of celebration.  Dear sister, see Jesus as your pursuing groom today. See Him as the one who was standing at the end of the aisle with his face radiant with joy because you were decked in white and joining with him in covenant.  I am not being sacrilegious here!  These are God's metaphors.  God really loves you.  He wants your heart.  He wants your hands and your feet.  He knows that as you walk with him, you abide in Him, your life will bear much fruit.  Apart from him, you are nothing but a pew sitter using up free childcare.  In Him... abiding in Him... your life will bear the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness.... oh friend, don't settle for life in the pew.  Walk down the aisle to a life of true intimacy with Jesus.

Here is the article that got my mind going even if it is just a silly made up story: