This quote was inspired by the immeasurable Mahatma Ghandi, who quoted, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” I absolutely believe that we should lead by example, and physically action out the positive changes that we would like to see in the world, rather than complain that someone else isn’t doing it.
But this got my wheels turning; what if we applied this same concept to the modern day church? Simple changes could make massive, incredible, positive impacts. Have you ever felt as though the ‘prayer chain’ suddenly became the ‘gossip chain’? Or ever wondered why no one was friendly in a place that should be so inviting? Or have you sadly walked out of service feeling more judged than loved? Or on the flip side, have you ever left a church judging more than you had loved? Or drawing harsh conclusions from a first-time visit?
If you would like to see more caring people, then start being a caring person, and don’t give up! If you would like to see more authentic, genuine, real Christian friendships within the church, then start being authentic, genuine, and real with your friends. If you would like to see more laughter and joy in your church, then laugh and celebrate God’s greatness through celebrating within the church.
You will not resonate with every pastor you listen to, or feel connected to every church congregation you meet. There are a million types of personalities in the world, and there a million types of ways that people run church establishments. Pray to find one with people that speak to your heart and resonate with you. Because you don’t click with one church, that doesn’t mean that you won’t click with any church! It just means you view things differently, and that is OK. Do not get discouraged. God has a church-home for you out there, with friendships with your name on them!
The next time you secretly (or publicly) criticize your church, another church, or the people running it, think to yourself, ‘am I helping solve the issue, or am I just becoming apart of the issue?’ Because people are flawed, the church will inevitably have flaws, but there is hope! If we grip onto God’s love as tightly as possible, allowing no room for selfish ambitions, judgments, or false accusations, then there will be no room for those terrible attributes to fester inside the church. If hostile feelings are not in our heart, then we won’t bring them to church with us either. Shake it off at the door, and remind yourself that change starts with you, so BE the change that you wish to see in the church!