Last week, I went to the doctor for a physical checkup. I did not feel bad; I didn’t have any symptomatic issues. But, it was time for a physical.
The doctor examined me thoroughly and did not find any external issues. But, when he started talking internal issues – minute issues actually – he said that he found problems. While I was not having any outward physical symptoms, he said there were some internal indicators (from the blood work) that things were not going as they should be.
Some of the test when combined with one another, showed that I was headed toward heart problems if something didn’t change. So, what needed to change? Well, I could change by taking medicine. But, that’s not what the doctor recommended.
You see, the problem is that my body was not working the way it should be working. Oh, all of the parts were working fine, but together, it was not functioning as a body is supposed to function. A body is designed to work – exert – exercise. But my job is extremely sedentary. (Well, my fingers get a workout, but that’s about it.) This type of sedentary lifestyle is not healthy.
Also, he said that the things I was putting into my body were not the things that my body needs. I was eating plenty of food, but I was not eating the right kinds of food. And, the kind of growth caused by this food was not the kind of growth that was healthy.
So, the doctor recommended (instead of medication) changing my diet and exercise so that they were both more in line with the way my body is designed. That makes sense to me, and so for the last few days, we have changed our diet, and we have begun exercising.
One night, while I was walking and thinking about the conversation with my doctor and our changes in diet and exercise, I realize that my predicament is very similar to what is happening (or not happening) among the church – at least from my personal experience, from what I’ve studied, and from what I’ve read about.
Today, the church – like my body – is not healthy, although at the surface there may be few – if any – symptoms. The problem is that we are often measuring the wrong things. We are seeing “growth”, but not the kind of growth that the church was designed for. In fact, much of the church’s “growth” today is actually at the expense of other parts of the church.
Similarly, while on the outside we may see huge numbers and overflowing bank accounts (although this is changing now, isn’t it?), when we look closer – looking into the details of people’s lives – we find indicators that something is wrong.
Then, when we compare the church today to the way the church was designed to function (as described in the New Testament, for example), we see drastic differences.
Most people – not all, but most – would agree with what I’ve said about the church so far. However, many would suggest that the church needs medicine – something added from the outside.
Perhaps, instead, the church simply needs a change in diet in exercise. Perhaps the church simply needs to take in the kinds of things we were designed for, and we need to work in ways that we were designed to work.
Now, of course, even if I’m right, we must decide what diet and exercise is good for the church…
What do you think?