Today I ate lunch with a couple of fellow ministers that were both asking the question, “What is wrong with the Church?” Both men care deeply about Christ’s Church and our effectiveness in making disciples. We had a good robust debate about what is working and what is not working in the Church today.
As I engaged in the conversation at lunch, my mind kept going back to the Church in Acts. The Church described in Acts 2:42-47 worked! It was a place where people wanted to be. It was a place where disciples were being made. It was a place where people were coming to Christ and growing in Christ. It was a place where people were experiencing the abundant life that Christ offers.
The Acts 2 Church is described as a large group of people who were “devoted.” They are also described as a place where people “were praising God and having favor with all people.” Church was fun. They were experiencing the abundant life Christ offered. They loved the music. They loved the teaching. They loved the fellowship. They loved serving and giving to each other. They loved inviting new people to join them. They loved these things because they loved God and they loved others.
Please understand that I am not saying the abundant life is an easy life. In fact, the abundant life might even come with more problems and difficulties. I am saying however, that the abundant life is a life that allows you to rise above the circumstances and problems of this world. The abundant life is a life that can only come through knowing Jesus. Jesus even told us that He has come to “give us life and life more abundantly.” The abundant life is a life overflowing because you have Christ living on the inside.
Christians and churches are dispensers of abundant life. We help connect people to Jesus, and He gives them life and life more abundantly. Abundant life always works. People will always want to have a life that is more full than empty. People will always want a life that is overflowing rather than dry. Our job is simply this: to connect people to Jesus so that they can have abundant life. We can’t give them abundant life, only Jesus can. We can lead them to Jesus.
To be honest, I wrote this blog for me. I needed to write what I was thinking after my lunch conversation. If it helped you, that is even better. I just needed to be reminded that my job as a pastor is to help people find abundant life. Life that is overflowing, not begrudging.