Letters to the Church
As the staff embarks on a new journey through Francis Chan’s book Letters to the Church, we are challenged in the first chapter to depart from our traditional thinking on the way the church should look and behave. For the most part the staff agreed with how Chan followed his leading and left the mega church scene to plant house churches.
In this chapter we find that despite the massive success Chan was experiencing in the world of congregational ministry, he found himself frustrated. He felt that he was experiencing a mass group of people that show up to church simply to be served. They were not using the gifts that God had given them to build up the kingdom of God. Instead they were showing up to take from God and the church rather than contribute to the work of the kingdom. While I see this as a problem, I also feel that some of the people within this congregation had to be exercising their gifts in some manner or it wouldn’t have been growing by leaps and bounds. No matter how great or bad the preacher is a church will not succeed without the membership being heavily engaged in the work of the church.
Is it wrong to depart from our preconceived ideas of the church. No! In fact, I believe that Chan is right on in many ways. We have become so focused on programs and what we want that we forget that the church is His and its members should be striving to serve Him by using the gifts that God has given them. I have said it many times and I will continue to say it, “God has not called people to come to church and be pew sitters!” God called us to come to church so that we may be prepared to go out and “BE” the church to our communities.