the weblog of Alan Knox

Complacency infects simple churches as well as institutional churches

Posted by on Aug 5, 2011 in discipleship, missional | 5 comments

Complacency infects simple churches as well as institutional churches

Whether you’re more comfortable in a pew listening to a sermon or on a sofa dialoging with others, complacency can infect any group of believers. In fact, we’re often so complacent we change things just so we don’t have to actually change.

We change the teacher or the location or the type of music. We add classes, meetings, media, or meals.

But in the end, very little changes… we remain huddled together, focusing on serving one another, while God is consistently and continually pushing us toward others who are not in Christ.

We meet and meet and meet… and think we’re doing something great. But our meetings (even the best of them) are like practice for a sports team. Nothing actually happens until the team takes the field.

We study the same passages of Scripture again and again and call it discipleship. Meanwhile, who is proclaiming the gospel to those who do not know Jesus. Who is helping the lost, the hungry, the homeless, the prostitute, the addict, the unemployed grow in maturity in Jesus Christ?

Oh, I know, that’s the job of the evangelist, the pastor, the apostle, right? Wrong.

Look around you… look at your life… examine how you spend your time and energy and resources. Do these things show that you are complacent? Are you intentionally investing your life into the lives of those who are not in Christ?

I know that I don’t like what I see in my own life.


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  1. 8-5-2011

    SLAP! .. Thanks Alan, I needed that. Sometimes we get comfortable and need a wake up call.

  2. 8-5-2011

    yep, the problem of the flesh and institutionalism, the things that the New Testament writers warned the body of Christ, the ekklesias, that were founded and learned to live organically by the life of Christ, to prevent them from forgetting their foundation and falling back to the flesh and institutionalism.

  3. 8-5-2011


    I’m beating myself up as well… but also acting on the conviction.


    The Spirit indwells all of us, but we still need exhortation from one another. I hope this post exhorts many to step out into the world and disciple others.


  4. 8-6-2011

    I think the natural human tendency is towards inertia and we need to constantly resist it. When complacency sets in in a traditional institutional church setting, there are built-in life support systems which keep the body alive artificially. In an organic church setting however, complacency is lethal and invariably leads to the death of the body. There therefor needs to be an element of intentionality in an organic type church.

  5. 8-6-2011


    I agree that this is an example of natural human tendency. We do need to constantly resist it because we’re not supposed to live by natural human tendency. Yes, intentionality is extremely important, as God has taught me again this weekend.