Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Church Without Criticism

The magazine "Popular Science" recently gave a brief report on Dennis Hong, the leader of Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory. He talked about one aspect of being raised in Korea: "I grew up in an environment of people being afraid or ashamed to speak up. In my lab there's no criticism, only refinement."

I believe that God has placed within the hearts of His people in every church the ability and knowledge to overcome the issues hindering that church's health and growth. So why won't more people be an active part of the solution? A few possible reasons:
  • Fear of commitment - Some people keep to themselves their ideas to make their church better because they know that they will be asked to take a leadership role in the transformation.
  • Hindered flow of communication - Many leaders of churches fail to provide members with two necessary things: (1) permission and encouragement to make suggestions; and (2) an easy means by which to do so.
  • A critical heart - Unfortunately, some members have allowed an unchecked critical spirit to become entrenched in their hearts. Although they may have good ideas, they choose to complain about the current condition to people who can't do anything about it, which results with that critical spirit being multiplied many times over.
  • Fear of being critical - Many Christians are like Dennis Hong was: fearful of speaking up. The knowledge that the Spirit of God has placed in their hearts becomes buried, and the people of God cannot be edified.
When God's people aren't talking to one another (and perhaps instead talking about one another), Satan gains a victory. Imagine, though, what would happen if we adopted the mindset that says, "In my church there's no criticism, only refinement."
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