Last week, I compared Michael Spencer's Mere Churchianity to Francis Chan's Crazy Love. Both address the same problem but come at it from different directions. Yet I think both come to the same conclusion: Jesus is the focus, loving God is the motivation.
Chapter 6 of Crazy Love hits on the motivation. If you're reading the book, you might feel beat up and let down after chapters 4 and 5. Francis leaves no doubt that we "all fall short" (Romans 3:23) regardless of religious or denominational affiliation. The examples of the seven churches in Revelation reminds us that no church is perfect because they are made up of imperfect people.
So what do we do?
When I started reading Mere Churchianity, I had been reading book after book looking for that certain "what" to do to fix the broken church. I read a lot of observations I agreed with while I didn't read much for solutions. The thing is, there isn't a "what". It's about "why". Why do we even bother attending a church? Why do we read our Bibles? Why do we turn to God in prayer? Why should I repent of this sin that I enjoy so much?
My Crazy Love group is made up of a diversity of seekers (and I'm categorizing all of us in that description). Some are dedicated disciples that lean towards the legalistic side, some have backslidden (if that's a word?), some are just hungry to grow deeper, some are looking for fulfilling fellowship. But all of us have the same question: why? If I were to reduce the study to a list of to-dos, we'd eventually break them. If I gave a list of do-nots, we'd go ahead and do them at some point as well. I wish I could say I've been perfectly sinless since I began the group, but I too fall short.
So we need to change our expectations of this study, or any study really, from a list of "whats" and "hows" to focus in on "why". We need to fall in love with God.