The church is in desperate need of reform. It had one in the 1500's. It needs another.
We all have a part to play in this needed reform movement, beginning with ourselves. Even though it may be unpleasant, we all have areas of our lives that cry out for change. Much of this is related to repentance for various sins that we try not to think about (such as complacency, selfishness, bitterness, pride, etc).
Let's pray for God to show us where we need reform in our own lives. Then let's do it.
Reform does not generally occur in large groups. Rather, it happens person-by-person. As we strive for reform in our own lives, we can and should help others do the same. We can most effectively accomplish this in the context of close personal relationships. As we help others reform in their own lives, they will likely do the same for us. This is mutual edification at its best.
Let's pray for God to show us others we can help.
As I discuss much on this blog, various common church structures need great reform. One of those is how church gatherings generally occur. Currently, the vast majority of church meetings do not follow the biblical model, and therefore do not bring about mutual edification of the body. This requires reform. We can help a little with this, but for large-scale reform to happen God will have to do it in the hearts of his people.
Let's pray for God to show more and more of his people the need for reform within church structures.
The way most churches are set up today, the pastors have a great deal of both power and influence. They believe certain things are very important such as worship services, church buildings, budgets, and tithes. They are especially convinced that their preaching of sermons is critical to the life of the church. I know this in part because I used to think this way. I know many pastors who think this way. I've read many pastors who think this way. Nothing we say or write is going to influence the hearts of these men. Only God will bring the change. I know it can happen because God did it to me.
Let's pray for God to show pastors the reform he wants in his church.
Finally, God has commissioned us as his church to take the gospel to all corners of the earth. No matter what it takes on our part, the task must be completed. No sacrifice is too big. Despite this, the church in this country seems somewhat inoculated against the Great Commission. We've heard so much about it that our ears are sort of dulled to it. We need reform in how we think about the Great Commission. Instead of thinking of it as optional, we need to think of it as our duty. Instead of thinking of it as something professional missionary-experts do, we need to realize that we all have a key part to play. Instead of shoving the responsibility off on someone else, we must grasp that we are a part of it.
Let's pray for God to bring about a zeal in the hearts of his church to carry the gospel to all unreached peoples.
The church is indeed in great need of reform. Let us turn first to God, crying out to him to make this reform happen. Then, when he tells us as individuals to change we need to be ready to obey.