We all come to church with a unified focus, right? We all come with humility knowing that we are new people purchased on the cross unconditionally, right? The truth is, a multitude of people come to church with multitude of reasons. In many places church is center of right standing in a community. For others the church is a business that is to be grown. In some places church is the local extension of a political organization that exists to push moral legislation through. The more I pastor, the more I realize that I will never understand all the motives and reasons that drive church participation. With dozens of motives driving church participation, I have realized that these same motives pull for the attention and focus of the church. Church success then is derived from political action, business pragmatics, or community standing.
I am an idealist. Deep down I ask why churches can’t be focused on the main thing- Jesus Christ. I read passages in scripture that speak of a common mind and a shared vision. I wonder why we as church people cannot come fully realizing the lordship of Christ in His church and the call of His commission. Instead of this, churches today are consumed with musical tastes, debate over secondary issues of scripture, and ultimately power struggles to see whose motives drive a church. In this we leave God’s perfect design.
There is only one solution for the church. The solution is not a program or a style. This solution is not a motive but instead a foundation. The church must return to the cross. At the cross we realize our unworthiness before God. At the cross we realize the root of sinful motives. At the cross we find humility knowing that we are no greater than our savior. At the cross we find our mission. At the cross we understand that our righteousness is that of filthy rags and our hope is in redemption.
The church has chased solutions for its lack of authenticity for far too long. The church will never be relevant if all it has is style. It will never be nation changing if all it has is political ambition. The church will never truly grow as long as pragmatics drive it. All of that said, an authentic church founded on the cross will change a nation as the gospel penetrates the heart. The authentic church will be more relevant than hipster clothing or a style of worship. The authentic church will see immeasurable growth as people come to find something real.
We must return to the cross. Our churches will have no life without first embracing the death of Christ. Will you go to the cross?