Tuesday, February 07, 2006

I love the Church

Over the course of my ministry career I think that perhaps I have been the biggest critic of the Church. This is ironic for a number of reasons. First of all I have surrendered my life to serving this thing called Church and a couple of times a month I get a paycheck from that very Church. The very thing I've given my life to has caused me as much frustration as joy over the years - not necessarily the churches I've served in, but the bigger picture of the Church.

When people outside of church think about pastors or church people they think of bad TV shows hosted by old ladies with huge blue hair, way too much makeup, and lots of tears. Or maybe they remember televangelists having affairs. Or maybe they think of places where little boys are molested. Or maybe they think of the people responsible for bombing abortion clinics. Maybe they even remember boycotting Disney or forcing wives to submit. Or there's the issue of whether or not we hate people who are gay. I don't remember the last time the church got national run for anything good. Locally, churches get some decent press every once in a while, but as a whole it's been very disappointing what we're known for. It seems we're known more for what we don't do than what we do. The tension I've felt in this area over the years is much.

However, a little over a year ago, God allowed us to start a new church called River Stone. Since that time we've deconstructed every thing we learned about church. We questioned everything, studied scripture intently, prayed a lot, and decided a lot of things that we didn't want to be. The problem with deconstruction is that when you're done you're not left with anything. If you want to be a part of growing a church, at some point you've got to begin construction of what God has called you to be. I think that we've stumbled on to what God has called us to be.

God wants us to be pro-Church. Not pro River Stone, but pro Church. I was honored to be able to lead worship at a sister church in our town this week. I stopped to think during the message how we had another worship team leading at another partner church in our community. Here we are serving two churches we're not even a part of. During the message of the church I was serving, I began thinking about how different our churches were. A year ago, I would've thought that our way of doing church was better or more "right." Thank you Jesus that I've been humbled to the point of seeing the value in any type of church that desires to be who God has created them to be who preach the Gospel of Jesus unapologetically. This church, though different, was much the same. Preaching the Word, worshiping through song with a band, offering programs for people to plug into for spiritual growth ... maybe we're not so different after all.

A major point of revelation was, "I love the Church". It hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't just love my church, but I love the big C Church. The bride of Christ is something worthy of investing my life in, and now that I'm pro-Church, not just my church, it is an honor to partner, invest, and serve the other churches in our community or your community or our global community.

Thank you, Jesus for the Church. May you bring Your kingdom to earth through your bride. May we love, honor, and cherish her everyday, may we pour our lives into her, may we experience Your love for her and walk empowered in that love. I love the Church. Amen.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right On

2:32 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

very well said

2:48 PM  

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