Monday, 20 January 2014

What If...?

Do you go to church?  If you do, I have a few questions to ask.

How far away from where you live is the church that you go?

What are the reasons you go to said church?  Is it the preaching? The music? The kids work?

If you travel out of your local community to a church in another community why have you not tried to go to a church in your local community?

I don't mean go for a month or even a year but for a few years and really give it a go. And why not invite others who live locally and travel out to another church to go to a local church too. Why not together look for how you can GIVE to this local church, use your gifts in this church, GIVE energy, encouragement, support, ideas, prayer and most importantly, love and relationship.

'The church is too traditional'

'The church's worship is really poor'

'The preaching is irrelevant'

'They haven't got any kids work'

'The minister is stuck in their ways'

'It's not my style'

'Etc, etc, etc'

You and your family and your friends could make a real difference. You could be the encouragement and change that the church needs. It will be hard work and frustrating, but it really is not about what you can get out of it but what you can GIVE into it. And by giving you will receive, that's a promise from Jesus. But it isn't some kind of vending machine promise of putting in a getting out, rather in the very act of giving you discover the God who's very nature is to give and give and give because of His unconditional never let go love.

If you GIVE so you can GET you're not really giving. But if you GIVE because you LOVE then you encounter the divine, the God who has given Himself fully to humanity.

What about relationships? How important are they within church?

Should they not be the most important thing? Did not Jesus say that the Greatest Commandments are to love God and love each other and that everything else hangs on these?  Is not the God whom we worship the God of eternal relationship, Father, Son and Spirit?  Is not relationship the most important thing? You will encounter difficult people but then, hey, that's church! Love is not some sentimental emotion but something active and challenging and sacrificial. But that does not mean you will be miserable! Because God meets us in the midst.

Why are we so quick to cut relationships for the sake of doctrine or style? Why are we not able to truly love one another?

So if you join your local church down the road that is struggling, and you simply go there and love them and in loving them you encounter the love of God and in encountering the love of God the church becomes a beacon of love in the local community, then surely that is phenomenal?

What if we didn't swap church after church?

What if we weren't focused on what we can get out of church but what we can give?

What if the most important thing was how this group of people in this community could grow in love for God and each other and focus on that being the main thing?

What if mission was more about how deep and authentic our love for others was rather than how entertained we can make people on a Sunday morning?

What if we all stopped looking for the slickest, most strategic, 'best' church and went to the church down our road because that is in our community and by being in a church in our community means I can get on loving my neighbours rather than being a disconnected church consumer in a community I'm not even a part of.

What if we stopped being church consumers looking for our spiritual fix and got on loving one another in our local community, giving our gifts to local churches who simply want help, encouragement and support.

What if...?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And very darkness time here too in sweden with alot desire to get more of heaven to touch us in life with faith and God wilgive outpouring of the HOly Spirit around in whole the scandinavien too and revival is coming,so pray for us in Christ,thanks and bless,keijo sweden