How I love this week’s church sign:

“Don’t let worries kill you, let the church help.”

While this sign is intended to let passerbys know that a church body can help with the stresses of life, this sign actually speaks volumes.  Unfortunately, I know that churches can sometimes do more to create havoc in the lives of people than sometimes they do help people.

Its interesting that Jesus stated in John 10:10 that “the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come to give you life and give it to you more abundantly.”

How do you know when the enemy (the thief, a.k.a Beelzebub) has crept into your church?  When the direction of that church steals, kills, and destroys.  I believe that there is no perfect church.  The moment that you find a perfect church, you just polluted it because you and I are not perfect.  But when a church has truly steered off course, it is because of one thing: we have made church about us rather than about God.  And that is when church starts to “kill” people.

How do you know when you are a part of a church that is “killing you?”  Here are some questions (and when I say “church,” I intend that you understand that you are part of the church):

  1. Is the church more concerned with feelings than obedience?
  2. Is the church more concerned with their personal kingdom than God’s kingdom?
  3. Is the church more concerned with programs than people?
  4. Is the church more concerned with reputation that character?
  5. Is the church more concerned with keeping than reaching (both can be achieved by the way)?
  6. Is the church more concerned with preference than biblical mandate?
  7. Is the church more concerned with busyness for the sake of discipleship?

I could go on for a while, but I plead with you reading this post.  As a part of the church, do not kill what Christ came to save.  We had some leadership time at our church recently that made me want to jump out of my seat.  It is about relationships people.  Our relationship with Jesus, other believers, and this world is what Jesus wants for us through an abundant life.  It can be realized, and church can be that which Christ desired it to be.  I never been more excited to be a part of the church than I am right now.  What is going on in our family is plain ridiculous.  I have never experienced such passion, unity, and focus that we have right now.  God has opened so many doors, I pray that we don’t let anything come in and take us off course.

I say this next phrase intended for all of us: it is time for us to stop going to church and start being the church.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.