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 Does The Church have Multiple Personalities?

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PostSubject: Does The Church have Multiple Personalities?   Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:00 pm

Does The Church Have Multiple Personalities?

By David Coker

Have you ever seen a ventriloquist on television? I saw one recently. He had multiple
characters, each with markedly different personalities and voices. As I watched, I thought
about the state of today’s Church and considered just what the Church would be like as
personified by a ventriloquist’s dummies. What personalities would he create to represent
it? I came up with five personalities today’s Church exhibits.



1. THE ESCAPE ARTIST
Today’s Church is bound up. Instead of defeating the enemies in our lives, we are busy
looking for the rapture. We’re not making a difference in our world. We’re just holding on
until Jesus returns. Current studies indicate that alcoholism, divorce, and consumer debt
are the same amongst Christians as amongst non-Christians. Much of today’s society
considers Christianity irrelevant due to the lack of integrity characterizing the leadership
of the Church.

At a time when American’s strongest desire is to see change, the Church is not making an
impact. We, like Houdini, have our hands tied behind our backs, hoping to escape that final
plunge into the trap of death below. Our mantra: “Jesus, rescue us!” The Bible says Jesus is
coming back for a victorious Church, not one trying to escape!


2. MEET JOEY
The next character he creates is the Christian version of “Joey” from the hit television series
“Friends.” We come together on the weekends to catch up on all the latest gossip, get advice,
and pat each other on the back. All the while hoping to get a little shot of spiritual caffeine to
hype us up for the week to come. This all happens within the hour we give Him.

Our focus is on social relationships that give us our identity instead of on God and the identity
in Christ He has given us. There’s nothing wrong with going to church with friends as long as
friends are not the reason we go to church!

3. MR. MAINTENANCE
Third, is the maintenance man. Many churches are content to maintain the status quo. I admit
that I, too, have been guilty of being lulled into the “maintenance mode” from time to time. We
become content to have the same 30, 100, or 400 church members. There is no biblical evidence
to support this thinking.

Every Church in the Bible was a growing church! Secondly, anything that isn’t growing is either
dead, or retarded in its growth. Of course, that is the status of most churches as well: dead or retarded.

4. HEAVEN’S RECEPTIONIST
The fourth personality the ventriloquist would create is the receptionist for Heaven! We need our elderly members to be examples to younger generations. Their wisdom and experience are price-
less. However, if seniors are all you have in your church, their rich legacy will die with them
instead of being handed off to another generation.

The Church is meant to be a rich, thriving family. Families need seniors, young people, kids,
newlyweds, 30-somethings and everyone else. We need to remember that God isn’t looking for
His local churches to be spiritual nursing homes. He wants an active family of all ages!

5. LAS VEGAS ELVIS
Finally, the last character would be the Las Vegas Elvis church. The church does not exist to be a
slot machine for your spare change. What happens at church does not have to stay at church. In
fact, God designed what happens in church to go back to your homes and your communities with
you! The church does not exist to just birth your babies, marry your kids, and bury your dead! God designed His Church to be an effective and active voice in the community. To be anything less is to become a religious social club!

It’s time to change and redefine the characters people find in our churches. We need to break free from the Houdini plan and record over our reputation as a bad episode of “Friends.” It’s time to
throw away the key ring of the maintenance man, and pump life into the Church, refusing to be the receptionist for Heaven’s waiting room. We need to break the “Vegas mindset” and let what happens inside our churches affect the world around our churches. Let’s shed the old characterizations of an ineffective religious church and become the vibrant, powerful, and victorious Bride of Christ!


DAVID COKER is a 1985 RHEMA graduate and the founding apostle of Gateway Believers Fellowship in Carnesville, Ga. He is also the founder of Breakthrough Apostolic Ministries Network (B.A.M.). His ministry can be reached at www.gatewaybelievers.com.



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