“What is wrong with the church?” I was asked in a recent conversation. Though I can be wordy, and I was, I will sum it up in this phrase, “I’m Just a Somebody…”
When I was a kid, one of the top songs on the Christian chart was a song called “I’m Just a Nobody” by The Williams Brothers. The song told the story of a man who encountered a man that appeared to be an old wino that was on the streets giving his testimony. The song sat in the belly of transition for the church. See, the song highlights a man who lacks the finer things in life. He doesn’t dress, live or drive fancy and places his full value and purpose in life to the spread of the Gospel.
Because of his appearance, he is teased and ridiculed. He is ignored and assumed not to know what he professes, but they are disillusioned. While they chase the things of the world, garnering themselves with the latest trends, this man sought to clothes mankind in righteousness by sharing the transformation God had done in his life.
Though the people feel they are insulting him,
the man embodies their judgement and declares,
“I’m just a nobody, trying to tell everybody,
about somebody, who can save, anybody.”
His words sounded out as a warning to the changing church. Our seats had become full, and our parishioners garnered themselves in the latest of fashions. Our Pastor’s moved from hubcaps to Rims from street corner to television programs. Respect began shifting to the haves, and the have-nots became a silent Kingdom partner. People began to think of themselves without sober judgement, wearing and hiding behind the power of titles and ministry prestige. We forgot that it was “…grace and mercy that brought me through. Im living this moment because of you” and began to think it was our intellect and abilities that had elevated us.
People stopped thinking of themselves as “nobody” but as “somebody”. We began to see ourselves as irreplaceable parts in the Kingdom. As gatekeepers and card carrying members of an elite body as opposed to servants in a field that was being plowed inch by inch by the soles of blood bought witnesses canvasing the neighborhood. We became a band of righteous men and women and ceased to be a group of men and women saved by grace.
The humility found in the body of Christ was one that identified the culture of the church. We were a group of people gathered together via mercy and grace. It was our knowledge that we were undeserving of God’s love, but recipients none the less of an eternal reward that would not fade or tarnish. This understanding allowed us to serve in a manner that illustrated the true virtue of Christ that was illustrated by His decent into human flesh and earthly living. It seasoned our tongue as we witnessed to others, ensuring that the hearer felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and not the judgement of mankind. As undeserving recipients, our passion was to ensure that someone else received the same gift, as opposed to keeping His truth to ourself.
This is the spirit that is missing in our global church. It the difference between a personal relationship/faith and a corporate relationship/faith that hinges on the market value of our Pastors/Clergy. Though we as men and women of God are watchmen over the congregations souls, responsible for guiding, teaching and correcting, we are stock options are shares to the Kingdom. We too are simply “…nobody,tying to tell everybody, about somebody, who can save anybody.