Is there a bomb buried in your church?
I was intrigued to learn that Brussels is like many European countries in that that they have units dedicated to the disposal of World War 2 bombs and munitions. This seems crazy to most who will read this, but the discovery of the bomb was a fairly common occurrence. During World War 2,US and British Air Forces dropped about 2.7 millions pounds of bombs on Europe, over half of that in Germany. In Germany alone, there are thousands of pounds still of unexploded bombs. Some didn’t detonate on impact, or failed for other reasons. They all pose a serious danger to those who don’t know they are there right beneath their feet.
If you have never lived through such a thing, it seems crazy that something as powerful as a bomb could get buried. Surely someone would notice something that had that kind of destructive potential before new construction starts. But in our churches and in our lives we routinely bury something more powerful than a megaton bomb: the gospel. The gospel gets buried in our churches, and then we complain that our churches have no power. It’s even more foolish, because all of us should know the power of the gospel having been changed by it ourselves.
How does the gospel get buried in a church?
Busyness - Sometimes the work of the church gets in the way of God’s work. We get so busy doing all the things that we have to do in order to keep the church going that we lose sight of of the gospel and the power that it contains. Before long, the gospel is buried under kids activities, budget meetings, committees, and other activities. There is nothing wrong with any of these things, except when we bury the gospel to pursue them.
Laziness - There are many times that the gospel gets buried simply because we are not doing our job as Christians in evangelism. The church that does not evangelize is a church that does not believe in the power of the gospel, no matter what they say. In the good news of Jesus birth, death, and resurrection we have the most powerful news that there has ever been. But we sit on our hands and don’t do the work that God has called us to. When we ignore the great commission, we bury the gospel in our churches.
Confrontation/Compromise - These are two sides of the same coin. We might bury the gospel when we look to be confrontational to the world in everything we do. Those who picket funerals or try to make people mad are guilty of burying the gospel. This is not to say the Gospel is not confrontational. But we can make the mistake of pushing our views on people and not the gospel. In the same way those who constantly seek to accommodate all views within the church bury the gospel when they compromise it. The gospel is welcoming to all, but when we take out all that the gospel requires of us, then we bury the gospel.
The good news is that all of our churches are sitting on something that can change families, churches, and communities. The gospel is the power of God for salvation, it takes the old and makes all things new. But we are too often content to sit idly by and pray for God to work, all while we sit on the greatest power the world has ever known.