WE’RE the Problem with the Church

by · September 23, 2010

It’s hard to admit that…right? It’s always easier to blame someone else for the problems we see instead of seriously looking to ourselves.

I remember when I was young my dad had this large magnet. I discovered that if you stuck it to the color T.V. and moved it around, it mixed all the colors together…awesome! One problem, it stayed that way. I thought he was going to kill me. So I did what any rational child does in light of his looming death; I made a list of excuses.

  • This would have never happened had dad not brought home the magnet
  • Seriously, who makes a magnet this big anyway…stupid magnet makers
  • It was my sisters fault (that just seemed solid, it always did)
  • Why is the T.V. on? The rule was, no T.V. after school

And on and on I went. We all sit around and talk about why we dislike our church and what they need to do better, but we rarely take a look at ourselves and our own hypocrisy. Truly, we as believers, the representation and the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, are the church. We need to shut up about what we want different, and start making a difference in our own lives. With that being said here are the top 4.

1. The Church doesn’t care enough about social justice

Yeah, and neither do most of us. We talk about how important it is, and that we need more outreach to our community, but we can hardly carve out 4 hours, 1 weekend a month to serve. Heck, we don’t even have time to take care of our neighbors that live RIGHT NEXT DOOR!

2. The Church is not feeding me

Well, is church suppose to feed you or support you as you feed yourself? Most of the time we’re famished from not feeding ourselves during the week, and so we come to church looking for a seven course meal. Then, when it doesn’t “fill us up” the way we think it should we whine and complain that our pastor is “watering down the Word”.

3. I can’t worship at our church (it’s very distracting)

Well, King David danced and “exposed himself”, according to his distraught wife Michal, before all of his kingdom upon the return of the Ark of the Lord (1 Samuel 6). I can imagine that would be quite distracting. The point is, he didn’t care, it was about God…Period! Isn’t it true that we all have styles of music we like? Isn’t the reason we complain because the song wasn’t done the way we like it at the decibels that most please us? Isn’t it true we either like laser beam lights or we don’t? We either like fog curling off the stage like Thriller or we don’t. Wow…that seems to be a lot about me, and not much about God.

4. The Church is so consumerist

Well…so are you! P.S. how was your $5 Carmel Macchiato this morning as you drove in your $30,000 car while listening to your $200 iPod in your $180 pair of True Religions(if this is not you, there are other areas that I need not pull out…like your $8 lunch).

Here’s the deal: I have spent so much of my life complaining about what my church should look like, and what my church should do. I’ve realized, I’m the reason that my church doesn’t serve enough. I’m the reason that I don’t feel fed and full in the Word of God. I’m the one who makes worship about what I like and don’t like instead of being about who God is. I’m the one who is doing all the consuming so that I can’t be generous. And because I’m the problem, it affects the church. Let’s begin to work on ourselves through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, and watch the church become what it should be.

  • Audioallstar

    Jeff, great stuff, buddy.

  • Brenda

    Jesus help us to love like You did!!! We are a pretty sorry bunch some days! Thanx for the rebuke/encouragement Jeff!!!

  • http://lauriann-faint-hearted.blogspot.com/ Ann

    very good post! I quiet agree

  • http://lauriann-faint-hearted.blogspot.com/ Doretha Barkman

    wow….I respect you for not being ashamed to write such a blunt post….your blog is awesome, I agree!

  • Paul

    We like to talk about how everyone around us is not doing the same things we are not doing. Good post.

  • RockThePEACE

    Jeffy. Well done. And the cool thing about being the PROBLEM is that — with the power of the Holy Spirit — we also get to be the OPPORTUNITY!

    Keep rocking it, Brother!

  • ryanguard

    McWatters can french-kiss my armpit. Go, Jeff GO!

  • JKurzen

    “I’m the reason the church doesn’t serve enough…”

    Such a great (and painful) point. Thanks Jeff for speaking the truth.

    Hope you and the family are doing well!

  • Chad Homesley

    I think that this is an amazing post. As I grow in my faith I begin to see that it is more than going to church and listening to someone speaking to me. They were put there as a guide and a voice for the Almighty. It is a matter of the heart and what you learn and how the Spirit speaks to your heart. What you do with this information is on you and how you see it apply to your life. The world needs people to speak on behalf of the Almighty, but they need to make sure that there heart is in a position to help make a difference. I really like this post Mr. Gokee it makes you think.

  • Lizzboyd

    Dangg Jeff, that was so good! Amen!

  • Jim H.

    Spot on Jeff! I just remind a teen (and myself) of the fact that WE are the church this past weekend.

  • 123livie1996


  • Cecy G

    Muy bueno!

  • iglesiavida

    Wow that was good… ” because I’m the problem, it affects the church.”

  • Chris Schroeder

    I’m there with ya Gokee! Many of us are coming to church with the wrong heart or the wrong expectation and it’s totally squandering our effectiveness within our communities in which we’re supposed to be reaching! Lets hope we have a great revival in the years to come! Great article.

  • Carol

    Love this

  • Dustin Kube

    I enjoyed the article. Keep up the great work!

  • pam gillaspie

    Good words, Jeff. Whenever I get myself in a fuss over my church, I am reminded that even if everyone else were perfect the church would still be flawed because of me.

  • Dave G.

    Good words Jeff – Paul encouraged Timothy to look at his own life before he worked on other people in the early church. Look at 2 Timothy 4:11-16, see how many times he uses the work “You” or “Your.” It’s true, if we are truly working on our own spiritual growth we won’t have time to complain that the church isn’t doing it for us, and we’ll be better equipped to serve others.
    Well said.

  • heather b

    Couldn’t have said it better myself… but then again I don’t happen to be the coolest, funniest, most wonderful youth pastor EVER, EVER, EVER!!! In all seriousness, what you said hits the nail on the head. We go to church trying to be filled up and expect all our needs to be met and fulfilled. While it’s great to thirst for the word of the Lord, we need to also be looking at what we are doing and giving to the church and to the community FOR God- not just what we can walk away with each Sunday. As we learned several months ago in service, the church is not here to serve us. We are supposed to be serving. We are not a vacuum created to consume every ounce the church has to offer, but instead we need to be putting into practice what we hear and applying it to the things we do and the choices we make with our time and our attitudes. Let’s think of more ways to please God and worship Him in all His glory, and less time acting as though we are the ones who deserve to be worshipped! Thanks for a great article, Jeff!

  • CJH

    Spot on Jeff … spot on! Great reminder!!

  • Jo

    Thanks for being real – always love that about you. It’s funny, when I’m walking intimately with God I love my church and in the times when I’m not I can find all kinds of things wrong with my church. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://brianwurzell.wordpress.com/ Brian Wurzell

    you’re a good man gokee

  • Cindyjokels


    Wow, you hit the nail on the head with this one!!! Keep’um coming!!

  • karen

    Right on!

  • CW

    I agree. Good words.

  • veronica

    Nice job.I love your passion.

  • Renee

    Jeff — I think you are on to something!! Good article. Thanks!

  • D Clymer

    Great! Makes you thing about thing a different way.

  • Rafaeljimenez01

    espectacular !!!

  • Asael J.

    Wow awesome!!!

  • Abel

    And I agree…u have my vote

  • mimis


  • M Melissa Hosten

    this is great!

  • Sinclair

    The church is a bunch of believers, not a building. RIGHT ON JEFF

  • Justin Hosten

    Justin votes for Jeff!

  • Hosten JA

    Justin is the church! We all are.

  • Hosten Mary

    Merge rocks!

  • Amanda

    God, change ME – not the church. :)

  • Diana

    wow! That is so real. Thanks for giving me some stuff to think about.

  • Abswolsey

    Thanks for writing, Jeff!

  • Johnhopper

    Enjoyed the article…yes..feeding on Sunday AND each day of the wk. personally in our own quiet time..making sure I do my part by being a part of our local work. We do have a responsibility to care & concern ourselves literally for those who are in deepest need…Christmas is coming…lets do our part to share God’s huge blessings in our lives, with others.

  • Rhaines

    Hi Jeff!
    Interesting stuff! So, I agree and disagree! I agree that the church is made up of people and as Gandhi says we need to “be the change we hope to see in the world.” So, I agree that people need to stop complaining about lots of things and invest more. But I also know that I when I was in a church that I felt didn’t care about social justice and was too consumerist, I continued to serve and give and promote change from within, and it just didn’t happen. We then went to another church that did value those things, and couldn’t be happier. If the focus is on God, and not on yourself, you will have a more meaningful worship experience. I guess I have just realized that some churches do play a higher value on social justice and change in the world, and those are places I want to invest my time. I can honestly say that I really don’t think I could worship on a regular basis at a church that had smoke and lights and $30,000 cars.

  • http://lauriann-faint-hearted.blogspot.com/ allison

    great post! I hope we can all learn from this post and act on it as well!

  • Chris Fonner

    Love the Post!!!

  • http://lauriann-faint-hearted.blogspot.com/ Anna

    Thank you for posting this!!! Awesome!

  • PL

    great post!

  • Lindajfinley

    Jeffrey, this is mom, WOW!!!!!!!!!! Big sting, Truth sets us free. Thanks buddy

  • http://lauriann-faint-hearted.blogspot.com/ Brandon


  • http://lauriann-faint-hearted.blogspot.com/ Laura

    Great Post…I agree!!