The other day, while talking with my father-in-law, he was talking about a small church in Columbus, Ohio that, "Had the spirit!"
I have always wondered about that statement. What does it mean to say that a church "has the Spirit." I think I know what it meant for my father-in-law. It meant that the church preached the Gospel, at least as he saw it. It probably also meant that it wasn't concerned with tradition or education.
The problem I have is that often churches are described as having "the Spirit," and they never lift a finger to for the poor or care too much for people outside their own little group. And yet if a church has an educated pastor, it is big, or it does things differently than someone is used to doing them--it must be selling out.
There are many churches that have a good "spirit," but not necessarily THE Spirit. They are friendly, comfortable, Bible preaching, but they don't actually let it make a difference in their lives. I have been to too many churches that are content with "Good" people, and don't push them on to something deeper. It is not enough to be good, we must be transformed. We can't just go to church, we must BE the church. We can't just listen to Jesus, we have to follow Him and pattern our lives after Him. They are comfortable having a good spirit, but content to live without THE Spirit.
Why is it that we settle for so little?