Don't Let Church Wear You Out
Casting A Bold Vision For Church As A Place of Adventure
What Is Church?
For most of my life, church was a place to go to learn how to be a good Christian. And then it become a place where we could all get very busy sharing our gifts with others—a place to do volunteer work, of sorts, to keep the church going. I know church means so many different things to every person. And a lot of it is very, very good.
But Church shouldn’t be the place where we get worn out serving.
The church is strongest when it is a place we can come together and be reminded of our belovedness, and see how we are all sharing in a common story…that we’re way more alike, than we are different. And that life doesn’t have to be lived on a deserted island, that the help and support we receive from others is essential to survival.
I’d love to see the church become less of a place where we placidly file in, sing a few songs, listen to someone deliver a message, take an offering, sing another song, and then rush out to the car. And instead, become more a place of discovery and adventure.
Church should be the training ground for serving outside its walls.
Can we come together, fill each other up with so much love, and then collaborate on ways we can go out and share that love with people who aren’t inside the church? And it’d have to absolutely be done without any agenda…including getting people to visit the church, or heaven forbid, saving their souls (that’s God’s job!). Just love.
And by love I mean, how can we help people who need it? How can we intersect our lives with people who entrust us with their needs, to help people in ways they want to be helped, and not just assume we know what’s best for them?
Can we take care of and pour love on widows, orphans, and prisoners? Can we declare the worth and value of every single human—regardless of their ___________? (fill in the blank with whatever seems most difficult for you; nationality, religion, skin color, gender, sexuality, or any other possible labels.) Can you find people being oppressed in our society, and then help to end that oppression?
I believe we can. And we must. Especially if we’re claiming to follow the heart and teaching of Jesus.
We have an incredible opportunity right now to impact our culture with an earth-shaking love.
How might you catch a vision for how church can become a training ground for how to live out our faith as Jesus asked us, and have it not simply be a place that comfortably reinforces our beliefs?
KEY QUESTION: Who do we belong to…and who are we willing to let belong to us?
Everything I Do Is To This End
All of my creative efforts are done with the desire of encouraging you to not just have good beliefs, but find ways to live out those beliefs to a hurting world around you. In addition to this weekly Hope Coach newsletter (thank you for subscribing!), you might be interested in my Live Hope Minute. It’s a one-minute daily radio feature heard on about 300 radio stations around the US and Canada, but you can find it in every podcast application, like Spotify or Apple Podcasts. It’s also available as a hardcover one-year devotional book from me right here! (only $10.00 plus S&H). And even as a FREE mobile app for your phone or tablet!
I call it the Live Hope Minute, because the Have Hope Minute wasn’t enough. I don’t just want us to have hope, I want us to find creative, excellent, and authentic ways to live out our hope to the world.
You may also know about my new long-form Conversation Series (or podcast) called “Saving My Faith.” I’m so thrilled with the caliber of my first three guests, and have found a strong theme emerging: An intense desire to let people know how deeply loved and valuable they are. In my faith history, those two things have always been questionable to me. But the more I learn about the actual Good News of love & grace, rather than fear, shame, and sin management, the more I want to shout it from the rooftops -- or at least, through the podcast airwaves! You can listen for FREE wherever you hear podcasts. If you're not familiar with podcasts...let me know, and I'll help you out.
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