It is the promises of God that make the church, and not the church that makes the promises of God.
~ Martin Luther
Chandler, Matt; Geiger, Eric; Patterson, Josh (2013-11-26). Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church (Kindle Locations 111-112). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
First line of the first chapter, and they have my attention. God has promised that the gates of hell shall not prevail against the church, so why are we so worried? Why do we seek to draw attention through gimmicks and fancy everything? God does not need that kind of help. Or to quote Bono, "My God is not short of cash."
He goes on to speak of two preachers, each struggling with their current roles and how their church is functioning. Then he says this: "And what both men need, as well as both of their churches, is a return. They need to return to their first love. A simple, yet significant return to Jesus." (Kindle Locations 150-151)
That pretty much sums up the book. At least the first 67% that I have read. They say it in different ways, and I probably need to hear every one of them.
Oh, the stories I could tell. Stories of churches who forgot about Jesus, who forgot that He sustains the church and not their efforts, forgot that Jesus is the reason not just for the season, but for everything. But rather than focus on hurts or old injuries, perhaps the answer is to focus on the present. What does it mean to "return to Jesus?"
That is going to take some thought.