Discussing the weaknesses of the Christian churches with a friend, it became apparent that the church is, and ever was through its history, way below its potential. Where potential of course does not mean what the church does with buildings, money and authority; but in what degree it’s good for the people, in the sense of educating them in the message about the savior Jesus Christ, helping them in practical needs, educating them how to live better and help others. The ultimate degree of the church’s potential is, probably, the Kingdom of God here on earth: a perfect parallel society, with everything from handling authority to finances totally different from what we know, that would be including every believer, and doing good also to all the others.
Now, the church might only be able to run on 1-10% of its potential, due to human weakness and the influence of sin nature. But compared to what the world has to offer, this is splendor. So it should not be frustrating that men is able to envision the ideal of 100% in thinking, while when investing in church in reality it is stuck to 1-10%. It might be better at times to not think of the ideal.
Some hints how to “perform best” in this area of 1-10%. First, it’s not about performance as effort, but as natural effect of what one has learned from and become by living with God. Second, focus on living the local church, avoid affiliations of them and other non-local Christian authorities; the local church, with each believer directly connected to God and having the Bible, is the last authority in all questions. Third, keep it simple, sweetie; focus on the pure Gospel as God’s message of the necessity of salvation and salvation itself, and on living it out by taking God and his standards and ideas seriously; any man-made extension of the faith (like self-made prophecies, elaborated theology, and the misuse of natural authority) can only hurt.
It might be that my idea of power community (see elsewhere in my blog) is well beyond the 10% of the achievable potential of the church, and that I should not cling to such an Utopia any longer.