10 Reasons

Posted: September 26, 2003 in Everything

Recently I was reading articles from one of my favorite websites, The Ooze. I was amazed by the honesty and accuracy of a great article by John O’Keefe, entitled, “10 Reasons Why Your Church Sucks.”

O’Keefe recounts having lunch with a friend when the two are approached by a leader at his former church. This is the friend’s response after being prodded by the church leaders’ incessant and invalidating questions.

First he said, your church is totally irrelevant to the community. You all talk a good game, but you do not see the dynamic of the community changing around you. Second, your church is filled with poor leaders and over bearing bullies who believe the best way to get anything done is to frighten people. All you have are people who will tell you what to do, and not lead us in doing it. Third, your church has no vision. You guys are just dead in the water. Fourth, your church is old. Your church is filled with old people who have no reason to move ahead. They have more life behind them then they do ahead of them. Fifth, your church is inbred. The people my age in your church are all related to the older people so change is impossible. People who are part of the outside don’t feel welcomed into the inside and voice an opinion; it’s filled with mama’s boys. Sixth, your church is more concerned about image than reality. You all seem to be more concerned with the condition of the building then with building the condition of your people. The carpet looks great, because no food is allowed near it. The stain glass is wonderful; because you spend more money on cleaning and maintaining it then you do on mission work. Seventh, your church sees no need for change. You are all happy in your fortress and are not interested in opening your doors to the outside. Evangelism is a dead concept, and community is only those inside the building. Eighth, your church doesn’t share a relevant message for a relevant time. You are so concerned with doctrine, you are not allowing me to explore the faith and question the unquestionable. Ninth, your church doesn’t care about me as a person, only as a checkbook. Over the time I was with the church I heard more sermons on how much I should be giving and not one on how much you were willing to give up. The only time I had anyone from your church visit me was when pledge time came around and you needed me to increase my giving. It got to the point were I felt no matter what I gave it would never be enough. Tenth, your church is all politics and infighting. Things only get done if you can muster enough political support form others to get your point to be heard, press your issues and lobby for approval. You have to wheel and deal to get anything done.

WOW! This guy fillets his old church. Unfortunately, his critique is all to familiar for many churches. The institutional church has been blessed with Jesus and oftentimes traded Him for counterfeit comfort. It’s become a country club with a cross.

My prayer is that every church, everywhere continue to convert and re-convert the church of our Lord. It is the only way we can be the place of peace, love and purpose God calls us to be.

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