The church at its best is the imperfect church. The perfect church only exists where Jesus is Lord of all and then all other agendas are surrendered. The imperfect church postures itself in humility before a perfect, holy, and loving God. The imperfect church willfully places itself in God’s grace-filled hands. In Christ Jesus our imperfections are mitigated, we are made holy by the blood of the lamb, and we are empowered with the Holy Spirit and given authority in and through the name and presence of Christ our King
So why would we live in expectation of a church that fits us perfectly? Have we become so consumer-minded that we think the church which belongs to Jesus Lord of all should mold itself to meet our expectations? This dynamic of dysfunction is deep and wide as evidenced in the conservative and progressive, the clergy and lay, the westerner and the non-westerner as we live in expectation that somehow the divine agenda would be shaped in accordance with our will.
The response that manifests itself amongst those whose perfect church expectations is to cast stones, some tiny and some large. Note that the stones regardless of size are not being thrown from the outside in, but from the inside in. Paul addressed the church at Corinth with a profound simplicity when he said in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “We live by faith and not by sight.”
Can I suggest that we might all simply take pause and consider that we as the church are here by God’s creation and plan for God’s purpose, as is the Church. The agenda God gives us should shape our expectations as we pick up our cross and follow Jesus. I will guarantee that if we present ourselves for God’s mission, then our expectations will be transformed and even become more realistic as we seek to be disciples of Jesus who are making disciples of Jesus!