“I pastored a Southern Baptist church in southern Missouri, and there some people in that church whose whole identity, I think, was tied to a self-righteous image. I discovered quickly I couldn’t change things when folks were determined not to change. In time, though, I realized that all around the church was a sea of dying people. I made friends outside the church and found plenty of people who were receptive to me.” — Dallas Willard in Becoming Dallas Willard by Gary Moon
Over the past few weeks, I have not been released from a burden to pray for the Church, especially in America. At the beginning of this year, the Lord spoke to me about a window of opportunity for the American Church to truly repent. That window is closing. Will we repent? Continue reading “Worthwhile (and necessary) reading”
There are times when I deeply treasure being able to slowly walk through a paragraph or even a portion of a paragraph and feast on the beauty of the meaning. My current reading affords me that. Continue reading “The church isn’t some alternative universe”
When it comes to church work, a mantra I’ve heard for decades has been, “It’s easier to birth a baby than raise the dead.” Just plant a church.
But resurrection? That’s God.
I’ve walked through resurrection. I’ve also planted a church. The biggest moment of awe I’ve had?
It was God. ALL God.
Every human idealized image that is brought into the Christian community is a hindrance to genuine community and must be broken up so that genuine community can survive. Those who love their dream of a Christian community more than the Christian community itself become destroyers of that Christian community even though their personal intentions may be ever so honest, earnest, and sacrificial…
We keep getting books and articles on what is wrong with this church or that church.
With the Catholic Church about to select a new pope, we get the rehashing of what is wrong with the Catholic Church.
So, here is my conclusion: we’re just not happy.
Someone may say, “I like this church tradition because they allow _________________________, but don’t acknowledge _______________.”
Or, let’s just say “X” and “Y” and sound like mathematicians.
No matter what, we’ve got problems. And no matter what, we’re not going to get it “right.”
You know why? Because you’re still here!
You. Me. All of us. We’re HUMAN.
I grew up in the Assemblies of God. There are a lot of GOOD things about my tribe. Hard to believe, but YES. For one thing, we actually do something the Catholic Church has never done: ordain women.
But problems? Sure.
Am I going anywhere? Not really.
Why? Because somewhere else I pick will have a different set of problems and it’ll take me another 40 years to catch on to their quirks.
Sometimes the tradition does shift too hard and I understand there are realistic reasons for “leaving.” But with all our complaining today, I think it’s just because we’re basically not happy. And that’s within us… not within our church.
So… let the griping continue…
What happens when we get together as a church and read the New Testament together? This “tree” is a great illustration. Missy Hansen in our church made this board. As someone in our church finishes a book of the New Testament, they can put a “leaf” on the “tree.” This was our tree after two weeks of reading.
The Lord will do something tremendous among us as we dig into the Word together!
Go HERE for more information about our “Eat This Book” project.