If you are in the church…then you might have figured out that the church isn’t perfect – and everyone in the church isn’t just like you. The church is made up of sinners who have been redeemed by a gracious God. Everyone is different, has different opinions, and has different gifts. So, what are you to do when you have differing opinions (not right or wrong)?
Collin Hansen, guru over at The Gospel Coalition, has written a book to answer such questions. I found this book difficult to read – not because of how it is written, but that it is so introspective and points to the sin that is in all of our hearts (when wanting our own way). Thankfully, Collin doesn’t leave his readers there. He offers the hope of the Gospel and also some ways to apply this grace even in the church.
“And when these differences cohere around the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they work together to challenge, comfort, and compel a needy world with the only that will never fail or fade.” (pg 23)
The hardest thing about differences in the church is everyone always thinks they are right. This writing by Hansen helps us to see that there are gospel-centered ways to handle our differences, how to engage together with those who are not like-minded, and how not to point fingers. Pointing fingers doesn’t get you anywhere.
This would be a good read for:
1. Me…because if I see differences in the church I am quick to point out how I would do things differently or why I don’t think this such and such is working.
2. Church leaders who seem to have a thriving church – but know that there are differences within their congregations.
3. Churches on either end of the spectrum. Maybe you are a church leader who has a congregation that loves missions and serving the poor and has dynamite electric worship with a rocking praise team – but you are really low on theology. Or maybe you sing out of hymn books, would never use the drums, and barely see any conversions all year – but your people know the Bible. We are all sinners and desperately need the hope of the Gospel for us to love Jesus and look more like Jesus on Sundays – and every day of the week!
Thanks for the reminder. Might read Hanson’s book.