Exclusive Church

Posted on October 30, 2008

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Several years ago my family was involved with a wealthy Southern Baptist Church that was located nearby a wealthy neighborhood as well as a lower class neighborhood. This church decided to build a “family life center”; a glorified gym made out of bricks. An unspeakable amount of money was spent on this structure and all members were pushed to make a donation. However, when the idea was brought to the church, my family asked questions and found out the dirty truth.

This church refused to let the neighborhood kids come in and play basketball during a free gym time. This church also refused to participate in a local church alliance that brings in homeless people to church gyms for a place to sleep. Hands down, this gym was not meant for outreach. This gym was intended for the well-to-do members of this well-to-do church to gather and socialise.

Shortly after the building was complete I got the go-ahead to plan a rock concert to be held in this gym. The idea behind it was pure outreach. The bands were booked, the sound system was arranged, the concert was promoted; a week before showtime the church pulled the plug on the event. It was obvious as to why. They did not want a certain type of people brought into their church. They did not want outsiders coming into their church.

This church is exclusive…

If the church is supposed to do the will of God, why are so many churches so exclusive? As a model of Christ we should welcome anyone and everyone with open arms. Not only that, but we as the institutional church should stay current enough that outsiders are curious enough to visit our church. Sometimes this can mean weeding out ‘comfortable Christians’ who like things the way they are. Ministry to the emerging generation cannot be done if we are scared of change. There is a lot of talk about change in our country right now. However, I know of one institution that needs change more than anything: THE CHURCH.

The church cannot stay on the same path that it is on. The average church is attracting comfortable Christians. The majority of growing churches in America are growing because of church transfers rather than because of evangelistic growth. That should be our first warning that some thing is going wrong.

Who cares if you don’t like the music? It has to be appealing to outsiders. Who cares if you don’t like the preaching style? It has to be appealing to outsiders. Who cares if you want to wear a suit? Your suit is going to scare away outsiders! None of these traditions are Biblical. Tradition has to fly out the door and allow room for true Biblical outreach and welcoming.

We cannot sit here and be silent. We have to stop being daycares for comfortable Christians. It is time for the church to change. Sincere Christ-followers need to be built up and get ready to bring about a new revolution. The goal is in sight, lets reach it.

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