Identity Crisis #3: The people within the church, the believers, disciples, sheep, etc. do not know what "church" truly is. They have unrealistic expectations and traditional ideas of how church is supposed to be and press that amongst the body of Christ.
The evidence that I propose:
Pastors: First, we don't stay very long at any church, (I think the average is 3 years) so the body of Christ where we serve do not trust pastors because they know that another church will entice them, a bigger salary or bigger fellowship somewhere else will entice them, problems at the current church are too overwhelming, or a "I want a fresh start" attitude. If we really dig in at the church where God has placed us and truly shepherd His Church then this attitude of how church is supposed to be can change.
Second, pastor's need to lead people to the Scriptures, the blueprint of the Church. It must be preached and taught over and over. We are to lead the sheep to the green meadows and still waters. We spend so much of our time doing strategy planning, mission and vision statements, long range planning, and other stuff when we havent really properly defined and taught what the church is. Be passionate about this and lead!! If we are intrenched in tradition, then it is time for reform so we better dig in!!
Church Members: I hear church members make comments such as "what is the church going to do?" when it comes to various situations, or "the church ought to be doing this" or "that". Some have even taken on the role of church watch dog, to be its protector or its hero. They have forgotten that "For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything." Ephesians 5:23-24 (NASB95)
I have been in some churches where people have their feelings hurt because of what the church didn't do and that offended them. There are plenty of those folks in our communities who have lost their faith in their church. The Me & I mentality of society has entered the church through its members. We do not claim to be servants of God any longer. We want to be served. We are no longer accountable to God, His Word, or each other. We want to be "faithful" through our attendance so that we can be marked as present.
We have no clue as to what "being subject" means. The church is subject to Christ Paul writes. Subjection is from the Greek root “hupotasso”: to be subject to, to make oneself willing, to submit to the discipline and control of a superior. The drill sergeant’s job in the US Army is to make soldiers out of civilians, to turn them into a combat ready soldier from the every day Joe that walked down the street without a care. To learn the ways of a soldier and to turn from a simple life to a brand new one. Always training, always working, always asking if I am ready or not……it is the same with being a Christian. God is our drill sergeant turning us, transforming us into the Christian we are to be…constantly training and molding, ready to defend our faith, to share Jesus with the world, and to be disciplined in our walk with Him. That is being “subject” and giving control up to a superior. That is at the root of all this accountability!!
So read God's Word, the blueprint, study hard, preach, teach, and write down what God says the Church is. Before we go anywhere or do anything, we must understand our identity first.