The community of imperfect believers

In yesterday’s devotional I told you about an interview I was privileged to have with Thom Rainer.

It was about the rise of consumerism in the church. In light of that conversation I asked you to think about whether you are in passive mode or active mode when it comes to the local congregation.

During our talk Dr. Rainer said something that made me pause: “I love the community of imperfect believers.” Not only is that a great attitude, it’s a great reminder about a few important things.

A lot of people have a warped view of the church. Since we worship God, talk about his love and goodness, and seek to serve others, we assume that everyone is always good at it. When we aren’t, we can come to the quick conclusion that it is full of hypocrites, so why bother?

Shane Pruitt recently posted this on Twitter: “Avoiding churches because of hypocrites –  is like avoiding restaurants because of people breaking their diets.”*

Ephesians 5:25 teaches us that “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” He didn’t do this because of the church’s perfection, but because of love.

Do we want to honour God and grow in the love and truth of Christ? And do we want to serve others as his holy hands and feet? Definitely.

But we’re far from perfect. That’s why we need Jesus. And each other.

If the church didn’t have room for hypocrites, there wouldn’t be any room for you or me.

“I love the community of imperfect believers.”


NEW PODCAST: “Thom Rainer on the difference between church consumers and church members.” It was a real honour and pleasure to interview Thom Rainer, former CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources and dean of Southern Seminary, and currently president of Church Answers. He wrote a blog called “11 Signs You Are Becoming a Church Consumer Instead of a Committed Church Member.” In this talk we unpack some of what he meant (in a non-guilt-inducing way), some current trends, and why this time of great uncertainty and challenge is an opportunity. The local church is God’s Plan A. Click here to watch or listen, or simply tune in to ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you listen: Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Audible, or TuneIn.

–*Posted on Twitter @Shane_Pruitt78 on July 26, 2022.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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