The meaning of church outreach today does not mean the same as it did during the walk of the disciples after the death of Christ. In the book of Acts, the disciples actively engaged the immediate community in daily religious acts such as prayer, water baptism, daily Bible readings, in addition to more spiritual deeds like healings and deliverance from spirits and sicknesses.
Today's church has adopted a mentality to which they expect the community to come to them, to physically attend church if they desire these things. Because of this twist of interaction between the two, the power of God is somewhat restrained to a weekly appointment rather than being unleashed in the spirit it was intended.
Instead of allowing the power of God to guide the leaders over the souls of the community, church leaders have designated all power to one individual person to preside infamously over thousands in the delight of membership numbers, yet outside the church the evils of life are claiming the community. Families are falling apart, crime and drugs have taken hold of young minds, new and more dangerous sexual diseases are spreading rapidly and corruption in many areas of social life have crept deeper into the mindsets of church members themselves.
Materialism, arrogance, selfishness, and many other mindsets and sins of the flesh are gone undisciplined in the church because many of the church leadership have these same mindsets. Many believe that material possessions reflect the favor of God and many mega-church preachers have convinced members that the riches they possess is the result of God's approval of them.
Instead of portraying the church as the center of the community, church leaders should make the community the church. During the days of Acts, the disciples interacted with the community daily and not just on Sundays. But because of work schedules and the demand for labor, society today has made the church mission second to work. In fact, the family and community ties have both taken second to work and the mindset of individualism.
People have withdrawn from the community relationship and retreated into the shells of their homes and personal lives. Ironically, this has caused the church to become more impersonal which indirectly teaches an all-for-self mentality; the direct opposite of what the early church was all about. The church then was a communal system guided by the spirit of God; however, society today including church leadership, have restrained that power and are worshipping from under the spirit of the world.
The church is definitely lukewarm today. The power of the spirit is extremely tainted and mingled with the spirit of worldliness and seems to be getting worse. Influences of politics, money, prestige and power have corrupted church leadership and the people are the ones suffering. Without correct spiritual guidance, the relationship between the church and the community will only widen and the work of God will not get done.
Pray for the deliverance and salvation of all.
© May 2008 by CR Hamilton || [TOP]
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