What is the church?
by Buff Scott.
The contemporary religious community is too bogged down in
organization to spread the Good News adequately. An eagle cannot fly if
tied to an anchor. An athlete cannot run while carrying a hundred-pound
backpack. A plane will not leave the runway if loaded with too much
And so it is with today's Christian community. We cannot fly because
our yoke is too heavy with structures, organizations, and clerical
arrangements. We have surely organized ourselves out of practical
existence. Within our church structures are Missionary Societies, Pulpit
Committees, Gospel Outreach endeavors, Evangelistic panels, Board
meetings, Deacons' meetings, Vacation Bible School programs,
Lectureships, Forums, and a host of other scavenger organizations which
drain our potentials and efforts and plunder our talents. The yoke is
too heavy, preventing us from becoming airborne with the resurrection
tidings. These parasitical organizations extract the very life of the
body of believers. Our struggle to reach others with the life-saving
blood of the cross will become even more difficult as long as we give
our allegiance to these organizations.
In essence, we have permitted our organizations to strangle us.
There is no room, no time, and no money for the resurrection message.
Our fancy edifices and polished organizations are symptoms of our pride
and digression. Millions of dollars are wasted on "materialistic
evangelism" while millions of the world's poor go hungry, not only for
food but for the resurrection message as well. Our priorities are abused
and misplaced. We have taken the simple arrangement of communicating the
Good News to others and developed it into a complicated mess.
The activities, movements, and efforts of the first believers were
ungarnished, ordinary, unsophisticated, and informal--but serious and
edifying. Our contemporary arrangement is complicated, rehearsed,
"organized to the brim," ritualistic, formal, and boring. As most
everyone is elected to some church board or office, there is no one left
to enhance the practical aspect of the program! So the office holders
and board members go 'round in circles, involving themselves in paper
work, organizing meetings, fulfilling speaking engagements, and
otherwise doing nothing to convert the world. The world keeps hanging,
if only by a thread, waiting for "Christians" to toss it the lifejacket
of salvation. But no! We're too busy keeping our churches and
organizations afloat to bother with the Great Commission.