Abundance of critics, prophets are rare

If one were to read the prophets of the Hebrew Bible, one would quickly see that one of the roles of the prophet is to criticize their current context.  For instance take this little gem in which Amos has a word to say to the powerful and rich people of his day: 

Hear this word, you cows of Bashan
   who are on Mount Samaria,
who oppress the poor, who crush the needy,
   who say to their husbands, ‘Bring something to drink!’ 
The Lord God has sworn by his holiness:
   The time is surely coming upon you,
when they shall take you away with hooks,
   even the last of you with fish-hooks. 

It is easy for people to critique the world around them.  From Tea Party to Occupy to the general "haters", people can critique rather well.  In the local church I hear many critiques: 

"We spend too much on the building."
"We are hypocritical." 
"We so not engage the marginalized."
"We have lame worship."
"We do no have enough members."
"We do not have a good ______ ministry."

You get the idea.

Here is the thing though, anyone can critique.  Heck, my three year old son can critique the world around him rather well.  His favorite word at times is, "No!'  

Never has my son's favorite word been "Yes!"  

Maybe we are quick to attach ourselves to the word "No" because we know that there is something wrong with our world.  Or maybe it is because it is safer to say "No" than to say anything else.  

The Church is at its best when we are able to help people mature from constantly saying "No" and critiquing the world to say "Yes."  

We are at our best when we are able to help people move from saying "I am not..." to saying "I am..."  

We are at our best when we are able to help society move from saying "We are not..." to saying "We are..."

We are at our best when we help people move from being critics to being prophets.

We are living into the role of the prophet when we are no longer held hostage to the word "No" and the worldview of critique.  We are living into the role of the prophet when we are able to see the world for what it is and what it could be rather than what it is not.  

Critics are annoying or comical and flash in the pan.

Prophets are cemented into our collective imagination and live forever.  

Perhaps the Church could re-discover the role of prophets in our time.  

Heaven knows we have an abundance of critics.