Friday, June 09, 2006

Waiting and the church

I have been thinking about the church this week. About what happens in it, about where it is going, about what it is and what it should be. And then...

This week happens. A baby girl in our church almost died this week. Stopped breathing, heart stopped beating, was resuscitated and airlifted to the city, long story very short, for now everything looks good, but they say 72 or so more hours. Tara and I spent time with the family, including in the bitter watches of the night. When all you can do is wait. Wait for the body to heal, wait for the medicine to work, wait to see if God answers the prayers. I know God is faithful. I know God has always been and always will be, but what does that feel like. He was faithful for the first part of this journey, now what? Baby got to the hospital faster than I thought was possible, even in a small town.

To wait. We hate waiting don't we? When I was a kid I'd want to know what was for dessert to see if I really wanted to finish my supper (everyone has to finish their supper to get dessert didn't you know?) and you know what my Dad would say? "It's a big bowl of wait and see." Man that would drive me crazy!

Waiting seems to make some things better and others worse. Perception is everything, waiting can last forever if it's one kind of thing and time can be way to short for other kinds of things.

And so we wait for the church to figure itself out. We wait for things to fall into place into the chuch and into our lives so that "things will be better".

I read the following this week:

“However, engaged in many good activities, Christians often take the growth of the church for granted. They neither pray earnestly for it nor work systematically at it. They assume it will take place automatically as Christians study the Bible, do good to others, and worship God. As a result, in the midst of huge numbers of receptive men and women, many churches stop growing and become static enclaves of comfortable middle-class Christians. These feed the hungry, visit the sick, clothe the naked, build attractive houses of worship, train leaders, and influence society for good, but they do not grow. The dynamism of the early church does not dwell in them. Huge populations in the Western world and even larger populations in the Third world remain undiscipled. They do not have the Son. They do not have eternal life. Church growth has been assumed and is, alas, not occurring.”[1]

We wait for some things, but what do we have to do while we wait? I don't have all the answers, but I sure have some questions piling up.

In His Grip. DJR

[1] Donald A. McGavran, Understanding Church Growth (3rd Edition), (Grand Rapids; Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, 1990) Pxii

No comments: