Great points to ponder from Dave Black this morning (Monday, September 13, 2010 at 7:57 a.m.):
Last night Ronnie asked me a very important question. “What is it that keeps us from having a kingdom mindset?” We talked about the distractions of TV, football season, pleasure, comfort. I added into the mix: the church. As long as we continue to tithe to ourselves, as long as we overlook the fact that the gathering must always lead to the going, as long as we prioritize our programs and our successful ministries over making a tangible difference in the world for Christ we will never have a kingdom mindset. The greatest problem that most churches face today is not that they aren’t doing anything. They do plenty. The problem is that they’re not doing the right thing (Phil. 1:27), preferring soft cushions over Bibles in India. And the greatest danger most pastors face is not that they aren’t doing anything. They’re far too busy! It’s that they don’t do the essential things. Their purpose is to equip God’s people for works of service. The clear command of our Lord is to go to the world.
I think it’s vitally important that we stop playing the “Look how great my church is” game. I know, because I often play it myself. Oh, what a high view of the church we must have! But we must never view church as an end in itself: she is a means to an end!
The church is a means to an end. What end? The mission of God. And, as long as we focus on ourselves, we will not be accomplishing God’s mission.