Recently a study came out about diversity and faith communities. This followed another report a couple years ago about the fastest growing denomination in North America. Guess who’s at the top?
Does our church have areas it must improve? Sure, but it also has areas where we can praise the Lord and rejoice. I see three attitudes (or groups) that prevail in our midst:
1.The sky is falling, woe unto us, we can’t do anything right, camp.
2.The we are the remnant church and nothing is wrong, ever, and if there is we ignore it, avoid it or explain it away, camp.
- The we have issues, as well as inspiring stories, camp. One of the best ones is pictured above, when I baptized my mother in law, who 25 years ago said: I will never leave my catholic church. (famous last words 🙂
I don’t know where you would be right now. I pray to be in the third camp. I guess the best place to live is within a healthy tension where in one hand you rejoice when you see God working and in the other hand you address deficiencies valiantly and decidedly. That’s why we need evangelists to draw us in, pastors to encourage us with good news, and prophets to call us out when we stray.
As I read the news of the diversity I felt three things:
- I rejoiced.
I never want to become so jaded with tragedy that I fail to enjoy the triumphs. Do we have a long way to go? Yes. Have we come a long way? Amen!
- I celebrated.
All is not awesome. All is not awful. It’s ok to rejoice. We don’t need “yes, but” attitudes. Maybe “yes. But” It’s ok to celebrate what God has done.
- I loved it.
We have all given the church grief. Our actions have been less than holy, our words have been less than kind. Conservatives and contemporaries, pastors and laypeople, young and old have fallen short of the glory of God. Yet God gently rebukes while making sure we know how special we are. What if we did the same? What about loving on the church for a while?
What if we used social media this week to speak about a positive story? What if we prayed for our leaders every day? What if we decided that its OK to celebrate God’s sovereignty and blessing?
Let’s give the church some love.