[Prefatory note: This post is not about Parkway. It is about all Christian churches of every denomination across the U.S. and Canada].
You, in Christ’s Church, may think I would choose distractions, inertia, financial giving, or our changing culture as our biggest challenge. Or, if you are outside of the Church you may think that scientific findings, church scandals, or secularism is our biggest challenge. But none of those begins to effect us as much as contentment. I think the biggest challenge Christ’s Church faces today is contentment. I don’t mean the kind of contentment that equates to a feeling of bliss in the Church. Indeed, many Christians inside and outside the Church recognize the Church has problems – some of them significant. No, what I mean is the kind of contentment which translates into a lack of willingness to do anything about the problems for one reason or another.
In our society we have a high percentage of Christians who are content – content with the world as it is, content with their knowledge of God, content even though we are on a road of non-sustainability for so much life on this planet, and content even though their children likely will not begin to have many of the same assurances in life that we have largely enjoyed.
Christians in our society also are content that their questions, whatever they are about God or the Church, are significant enough for them to respond with only partial, or less, involvement in their local community of faith. There are almost as many churches as eating establishments in many communities. But while we will go to a new restaurant at the drop of a hat, if we get out of kilter with our particular church, most Christians will either simply decrease their involvement or not go at all. We will sing about the power and glory of God and pray for him to make changes, some of them significant, in our lives. But then we allocate relatively little of our time or personal resources that reflect what we have just sung or prayed.
Christians in our society are in relative peace that other Christians in our society, and around the world, are suffering. We are so much at peace that it is staggering sometimes. It is admirable in our nation when we rally together after hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornados and provide relief. We will even do this for material needs in other countries. But Christians suffering internationally for their faith, Christians being purged from the Middle East, Christians who are homeless, Christians sitting alone in nursing homes, and Christians dying of hunger and basic needs seem to generate little concern or prayer (more less action). Why? Because so many of us are content.
Contentment, in the end, is our biggest challenge.
The question is, can we lose our contentment and really start to work in using the power, resources, and grace God has given us?
What do you think?