I feel a right mental mess.
I'm trying to work out in my head this whole thing called CHURCH.
It seems to me that the way the church in this country currently exists seems worn out. It seems to me that the way the church currently looks actually seems to be blind. People who follow Jesus and don't follow Jesus are more and more perplexed and uninterested in the established Church. My mates would never think about coming to church on a Sunday morning. They would not even come at Christmas time. Why?
When I sit in a 'typical' church service I feel like an alien on another planet. I do not understand what is going on. The words we use make no sense to me. This is not a symptom of some churches, it is a symptom of most. We speak in strange ways. How often I sit there and see someone who I know really well get up the front of a church, begin to preach or speak and then suddenly morph into another person altogether, using phrases and words they would never use in day to day living. How often I stand there confused by the words of the song I am singing. I'm confused as to why we are all standing together and singing. I'm confused because the conversations and 'friendships' seem so superficial (which leaves me less confused when we fall out and struggle to make up again). I'm confused because I morph and change and speak in weird ways.
I'm confused because a Sunday morning in no way reflects life from Sunday afternoon to Saturday. What I'm not confused about it why my mates don't want to come to church. So where do we go next? If there is a problem with how things currently exist, then usually we change things. If I have a cut and it's bleeding, I look to stop it bleeding. If it's a small cut, a plaster will do. It stops bleeding and heals. If it's a deep cut into a vein I need surgery, urgently.
I fear we've cut a vein but are not getting surgery.
The problem I have is I'm not sure where to go with how I'm feeling. Is this God speaking into my life, stirring something within me? Is this my own vain imagination? Is this a stage I'm in that I'll snap out of soon?
I believe it is God. Last year a stranger came up to me and told me to stay true to the calling God had given me. He said that God has called me to take risks and speak out hard things to the church. He told me at times I will be a lone voice and lonely, but persevere.
I'm not sure yet what I believe church will look like for those who currently do not see the church as a place for them. Let me say right now that I know that only God can build his Church. I know only God, by His Spirit can wake people up to their need of Jesus. So I begin this journey and struggle dependent upon God. But I take this journey believing it is God who is calling me to do it, believing the Holy Spirit will equip me to speak and act. Believing that Jesus has the victory and is calling me to share in that victory. Yet before such victory was a cross of suffering. So I look to carry my cross and follow wherever he leads.
I go on a retreat tomorrow. I pray I will hear His voice calling to me out of the wilderness.