Thursday, December 10, 2009

ministry...accepting who we are as churches

my hubby and i talk a lot to each other about many subjects. not surprisingly, church is one of those much-talked about subjects. after all, so much of our lives have been spent at church. we're in transition trying to decide what church is supposed to be in our minds and what we are looking for in a church. for the last couple of months, we've had church every sunday at home. it seems like a radical idea these days to have home church, but it's not a new idea. followers of Christ met in homes during the early church era. only later, did they move to buildings that would host larger crowds.

our topic last night? for the most part, people classify churches as being either traditional or contemporary. we've attended both. i like and prefer the contemporary over the traditional, but what i don't like is contemporary churches that are straddling the fence. they claim to be contemporary but are more accurately a blend between the two, attempting to be one while holding onto the other. i'm not saying this is wrong, but i do think much of my dissatisfaction with many contemporary churches in general has been because i feel there is a lack of identity. i feel like the desire to please and hang on to every person has become more important than following the vision that GOD has given the church. be who you say you want to be. each individual church does not have to be all things to all people. find your niche as a congregation. go all out and be who you feel GOD has called you to be. there is a place for the traditional. there is a place for the contemporary. there is a place for the post-modern and missional and home church and everything else in-between. together, as a whole, we offer everything this world needs and is searching for. if we as individuals try to be everything to all people, we come up short, get overwhelmed, and end up helping fewer people in the long run.

but if we accept that we each have a niche and celebrate what each of us have to offer and begin to collaborate, together, we can do so much more. together, we can make a difference. there's no need to compete. there's no need to hold on to everyone. there is a church out there for everyone. if someone doesn't feel like one church is right for them, we need to encourage them to find a place that does feel right rather than try to meet everyone's needs and wants. one of my favorite pastors let people know right up front that "this may not be the right church for you. if it's not, i'll do my best to help you find the right church. and we will love you and bless you wherever you choose to worship." he didn't compete. he didn't guilt. he didn't change his vision. he helped. he blessed. he stayed focused. in turn, he has maintained a good reputation in the community and has a growing and successful church. we're all in this together. let's work together and accept ourselves and each other. we can do so much more when we do.

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