“The Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose.”
– CS Lewis
You may have never heard the phrase “little Christs” before, but it is actually a literal definition of the word “Christian”. Although that phrase may have been originally used as an insult, this definition is a good descriptor of the type of people we are to be….ie. Little Christs.
Our task as the church is not to necessarily make “church members” (in fact it is God who adds one to the church anyway). What I mean by this, is our job is not to make people just like us. Uniformity is not what Jesus had in mind when he prayed for unity…at least not complete uniformity to a certain standard, creed or set of ideas (whether said or unsaid). No church is going to be exactly the same as another and neither is one Christian exactly like another…and that is ok.
My task as a Christian is not to covert people into being like me, but to help them be like Jesus. Our job as a church is to help individuals be like Christ. The way they love like Christ, serve like Christ and teach Christ may differ from the way I do it…and it should! Everyone is different and thinks differently even as they seek to embody the “mind of Christ” (Phil. 2:5).
People are not perfect, no church is perfect, but Jesus is. If we focus on helping others become more like Jesus while placing their faith 100% in Jesus we will eliminate a lot of the reasons people leave the faith. When your faith is in an individual and that individual falls, you will probably fall. When your spiritual identity is in the church you attend, when you find flaws in that church you will often fall with it. Our identity must be in Christ!
Churches will let you down, yes even this one! But when your faith is in Jesus, people can fall and churches can have problems, but you will find yourself standing firm because your faith is firmly rooted in Christ.
We don’t convert people to the West Visalia Church of Christ (or any Church of Christ or any church at all). You will find inconstancies, hypocrisy and even false ideas in all churches, but you will never find any of those in Christ. People are not perfect, and neither are churches. Imperfect people make up imperfect churches and thankfully all of us imperfect people together can work to serve our perfect Lord. We are not trying to make little church members, but instead make little Christs.