The Church is very much alive. If you’re currently pissed off at the church, please don’t stop reading. Just hear me out a second.
I’ve been immersed in church the last 2 weeks and have been loved and served and cared for and accepted and honored and respected and challenged and encouraged and listened to and prayed for and blessed beyond measure…
❓️Did you leave church feeling that way today or yesterday?
❓️Did you heap your own blessings on others?
With two years of seminary behind me, and some recent medical issues needing attention, I needed a hard break from school for a few weeks. My professors and the Registrar are really good at recognizing when/if you need a break and they help.
This trip back to my hometown has been spent doing nothing but hanging out with friends and family. Wow – the personalities, the different walks of life, the different hobbies and careers and families represented. If you were to put all of them in the same room, you’d have some really electrifying conversations LOL.
As I’ve met up and shared meals and we’ve poured our hearts out to each other and celebrated and cried and prayed and chased beauty, it hit me – THIS is what the Church is.
I’ve always understood that “the church” is the people and not the building. But this trip helped me just see and experience how all the people I love are serving God and each other in different ways and different places and different life circumstances.
Read the “Who We Are” screenshot below of the seminary I attend, and then think what it must feel like to return home with a completely different perspective of who God is beyond the Book, how different people experience Him, the questions and doubts we all have, and the importance to have a safe and respectful place to unpack all those things with people who are just walking beside us rather than lording over us. When you begin to see Jesus in the face of every person you interact with, you start to move further and further away from the societal, political, and religious fringes that seek to control rather than truly follow Jesus’ command to love God and love others.
These people 👇 are part of my tribe who have chosen to do this crazy messy beautiful life with me. They individually and collectively teach me about the heart of God for His people. If there’s disagreement, the boundaries are respected and the relationships remain intact because that’s what God’s people do – they show up and forgive and serve each other – even if it’s messy or awkward or downright inconvenient.
We’ve all found a way to keep pursuing God even when we disagree theologically. Curiosity and respect go a long way when you value the relationship over “being right.”
Sometimes we all just gotta finally come to terms with the fact that God didn’t hire us. It’s really ok to quit trying to be God for other people (if you grew up in this camp, you get this – if you didn’t, please know that person trying to “save” you just hasn’t got the memo yet. Maybe give them a break? 🤷♀️)
I’m trying my best to just be a good follower of Jesus. Ya know, stay in my lane. Look at the plank in my eye. Look in the mirror. Sweep my own steps. Repent from my own junk. Admit my wrongs. Seek forgiveness. Extend forgiveness. Die to myself (quit being selfish).
When I’m busy doing those things and just show up to the church I’m surrounded with, I don’t have to camp out in us/them land. I just get to enjoy my peeps and trust that God sorts it all out in His time. It’s freedom. It’s abundant life.
When’s the last time you experienced church like this? ❤️