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New Church Specialties Says “Don’t Step Off That Cliff!” – Don’t Leave The Church, Love Her


2006-11-10 (Kansas City, Missouri) -- Christians nationwide are abuzz over the publication of “Revolution”, by George Barna, an intriguing exploration of the problems facing the church that also lays out some radical solutions – including the idea that Christians dissatisfied with the church should leave and seek an individual experience of their Christian walk. Every Christian knows someone who is thinking of leaving the church, or who has already done it – and millions of Christians are talking and thinking about the challenging ideas that Barna has raised.

New Church Specialties, a Missouri ministry that specializes in training church leaders for new church development, believes that Barna is off the mark in a couple of important respects. Barna is absolutely right that many Christians think they can simply “step off the bus” and pursue their faith by reading the Bible alone or working on their relationship with Christ in isolation. NCS believes that he is off base in thinking of this as “stepping off the bus” – it is more like stepping off a cliff!

The Bible doesn’t show us a form of Christianity in which individual Christians love Jesus outside of a church family. The church isn’t a building; it is, literally, Christ’s body on earth. We cannot love Jesus without loving the church that he died for.

Christ did not come to earth to suffer and die just for individual believers, he came for the sake of his beloved Bride, the church to which he gave everything

Barna is right that the church is far from perfect. So, too, was Christ’s beloved bride – we may think we have it tough in our churches today, but our struggles don’t add up to much when you look at the problems of the church in Christ’s day! In his church, the treasurer was stealing money, the chief elders snored their way through the most important prayer service in the history of the universe, and all the church’s leaders fled into the hills the first time the local government started asking questions.

The church’s lay leader wouldn’t admit to even knowing the pastor! This was the church that Jesus loved, suffered, died for – not an idealized vision, but a breathing reality that was full of warts and flaws, like everything made from the crooked timber of a fallible humanity.

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Tracy Nordyke
Love the Church Campaign Coordinator


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