transactions relational thinking narrative churchA friend recently read my blog and told me I needed to stop throwing rocks at the church. In many ways he couldn’t be more right.

I never to toss stones at God’s chosen, all I wanted to do was to stir up some conversation.

I figured by taking a more controversial point of view, maybe I could show an0ther side of the equation and get people to think about what they are doing. But considering my friend’s words of warning, perhaps I take things too far.

The Church Is Not Too Broken

My friend’s reminder was simple; don’t forget that God uses broken people and will use His Church, even if it’s messed up. It’s a good reminder, something that I haven’t discussed or highlighted yet, but I wholeheartedly agree. I think that God badly wants to use His church.

Can God use the church as is? I’m sure He can, but not without first changing some hearts. First, the church must break free from a wholly dangerous mentality.

The Church’s in the Grip of Transactional Thinking

The most dangerous thing a church can do is to subscribe to Transactional Thinking as opposed to a Relational Narrative. So many churches these days slip unconsciously into a mentality of numbers; tithing, attendance, percentage serving, number of programs, 30 minutes for worship followed by 35 minutes of instruction, even number saved.

I see the focus on numbers as antithetical and dangerous to sustaining and cultivating relationships. The mindset of numbers automatically makes people less human, which, from what I can tell is exactly the thinking God wants us to avoid.

We get so caught up in efficiency and making things so perfect (“Oh No! Worship is going 5 minutes longer, no we have to shift this to there and everything is ruined!), that it seems easier to listen to processes than the prompting of the Spirit.

In fact, it’s so much easier to follow a checklist than to wait on Holy Spirit to guide you; that’s what I see happening, a lot.

Change From the Inside Out

I am not anti-church, and I don’t encourage anyone to leave the church. Ever.

But I do want people to take a long hard look at what they are doing and see it for what it really is, not just in the light of whatever spiritual coating they have put around it. Know why you do what you do, don’t just do it.