Nov 13, 2015

my church

A friend of mine posted something on social media that didn't just catch my eye...

it caught my soul.

The post read:
"Local friends, tell me about your church and why you like it smile emoticon. [Our family is] church searching."
Several people reasonably talked up their churches.

Here's what I wrote back in reply.


The Church I take part in is amazing... 

I've been a part of it for more than 25 years now - 

although, truthfully, it's been around for more than 2000 years.

It's the means by which Jesus Christ has made Himself known on earth - through weird people who often get on each other's nerves, tend to put their own needs ahead of others and are looking for what they can get out of it. This Church will elevate pastors over the Father, programs over the Savior, and "the people" over the Spirit. We'll say we're committed to each other one day, and then suddenly we're not quite sure what happened.

And yet it is still a breathtaking movement of God, life change and transformation.

For all that we get wrong, God is still within His Church helping us get it right more often than we would without Him. For every wound, there is the healing touch of Jesus who continues to perform miracles through unsuspecting, ordinary people. For each clumsy stumble, there is an arm able to pick us up.

We are more than our gatherings. We are more than our doctrines. We are more than our people.

And yet we are our gatherings. We are our doctrines. We are our people.

It's this odd blend of heaven-and-earth in the same place, but not quite in the same place... as if our very existence proves God and yet pines for the fuller revelation of Him one Day - when a new heaven and new earth overlap.

It is this Church that keeps me serving the church I'm in.

It is this Church that causes me to defy the "We've got Spirit, yes we do, we've got Spirit, how 'bout you?" comparisons of congregation to congregation.

It is this Church that makes me sit down with area pastors and confess my struggles and joys.

It is this Church that I invite my neighbors to... knowing I've told them about a grand Broadway musical that is being put together through second-hand-store resources.

It is this Church that inspires me to seek out people who don't even realize how much they've withdrawn.

It is this Church that I tell my kids about, my wife about, myself about... when my eyes haven't seen it in a while.

It is this Church that when our kids are bored with or complain about, we lead them... they don't lead us.

It is this Church that is to dare casual Christians to become hot or cold, and to seek and save the Lost over making everyone happy.

It is this Church that is there for me and my loved ones when others are not.

It is this Church that can't be tamed or criticized.

It is this Church that I have been baptized into.

It is this Church that I give my life for, putting its needs ahead of my own when I'd rather find something sexier to take part in.

It is this Church that is searching for you as you church search.

It is this Church that Jesus Christ died for even when we won't live for it.

It is this Church that He entrusted into the hands of broken people who carry His Spirit so that when we come together we truly are the Body of Christ.

Some people reject this Church because they call it "organized religion." They instead settle for disorganized spirituality... "I think God would be okay with _____, so I'm just going to _____."

But it isn't organized religion... it's organized love and holiness through intentional community with the accountability that Christ created.

The only perfect Church will be in heaven, but yet may we not forget that Jesus said "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

This is exactly why I take part in a church on a regular basis.

Come as you are. Take your next step with God. BE the Church.

No comments: