“What’s Wrong With The Church…”

Neal Pollard

The blogosphere is getting pretty rife with posts about how the church is inept in method or impure in motive on just about everything, from good works to evangelism to preaching to leadership to cultural relevance. It appears that we (the church) have a skewed perspective of the past, we are doing practically nothing now (at least nothing right), and we have a doomed future.  We have no clue how to reach millennials or keep converts (not that anyone’s winning anyone).  We’re losing our young people. We’re full of hypocrites. We have no vision or it’s the wrong vision.  We’re at once too legalistic while too soft on sin and uncommitted in discipleship.

Do such posts draw an elevated number of hits or similar attention?  Do they gratuitously spark or provoke strong emotions from readers?  Do they make good tabloid journalism?

The church faces enormous challenges that require greater service, dedication, faithfulness, and sacrifice.  Being full of sinners, we’re imperfect and have plenty of room for improvement.  I guess my question is what the objective of this “Negative Nelly” approach is.  To better motivate and encourage growth? Or is it to beat down, create guilt, or demonstrate some sort of superiority by the “pundit”? Is it a spiritual approach or does it look more like the world than we might like to admit? May we never be like the ostrich, head buried in the sand and ignorant of reality around us.  Yet, as Christians, may we exemplify a joy and positivity borne of following Jesus.

Because of sin, things have always been bleak–including when He walked the earth.  Yet, rather than lament a falling sky, He came to make a positive difference in this world.  His followers’ writings were rich with words like “hope,” “grace,” “heaven,” “faith,” “unity,” “forgiveness,” and “peace.”

What if we made more suggestions and used less sarcasm? What if we concentrated more on our own example and less on everyone else’s errors? What if we balanced our hand-wringing about what’s wrong with the church with hand-raising about what’s right with it? What if?

10 thoughts on ““What’s Wrong With The Church…”

  1. Gabe

    Thank you for this reminder. Excellent thoughts. I happened to sit in a seminar yesterday about dealing with conflict within the workplace and they threw out the statistic that roughly 89% of the average person’s thoughts each day were negative. I think we, as Christians, suffer from that same negative tendency, and that can lead us to focus on the negativity. That combined with a narcissistic tendency to think that everything and everyone should be like us, can lead to a down cast light upon the church. Though Paul would correct and reprove other congregations, he was also so very positive with them, encouraging them to do better, whether they were broken or exceling. I appreciate the positive thoughts.

    1. Thanks, Gabe. We share humanity with the world, so we’re going to struggle as they do with things like this. I appreciate your statistics. You make a great point and balance is imperative! Be neither Pollyanna or Eeyore! 🙂

  2. I appreciate your thoughts on this. We need to focus just as much on the blessings and positive attributes of the church. Doing so is a big part of overcoming our weaknesses. I’ve been getting tired of the negative sweeping generalizations. Thanks again, Neal.

  3. I often look around the assembly during worship, and think, “How wonderful is it that so many have come together because they love God.” We are truly blessed to be members of the body of Christ. Thank you for the reminder that there is so much good to see in the church. Keep up the good work!

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