Psalm 119:71 NLT
“The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles.”
I don’t always pay attention. In fact, if I were a kid now I , I am pretty sure I’d be a be taking medicine everyday to get me to focus.Can I be honest with you? Men will get it and woman won’t.
I’ve been a pastor since 1984. Yupp, preacher man, special meetings, squabbles. I’ve hated most every moment of that crap since it began. Don’t get me wrong. I am totally fascinated by Jesus and His style makes me want to try to live like him. But, why do I have to sit for so long listening to some guy go on and on about stuff that I can’t ever imagine having anything to do with my life?
Yupp, it’s right, I’ve spent my life as a pastor looking at my watch wondering, “is this over yet?”
But that’s “church.” “church” drains me but “The Church” gets me going, sharpens me and gives me purpose and direction.
Confused? I hear you. Let me take a shot at a simple explanation:
* “the church” is an educational institution with a resident expert teaching his congregation and motivating people to stay plugged in. Hands-on experience is important but secondary.
*”The Church” is a group of people hungry for following Jesus and doing what He did. Hands-on is almost instant and The Church gathers to get and give support and process. I’ve always been fortunate. I’ve been able to promote The Church in every church I’ve ministered in through student programs, home groups, college stuff and leadership teams. Robin and I have been blessed to share our lives with so many friends. We’ve grown so much! Our doors will ALWAYS be open to them. We’ve NEVER viewed them as anything but friends and partners in spreading Hope.
I’ve never been pumped about going to “church.” but I LOVE THE CHURCH.
There are a bunch of “churches” talking about a bizarre version of the trials of Jesus. They claim that Jesus’ main goal is that we all be comfortable. We should have health, money, security according to them. I see the way they read bits and pieces from the Bible and I’m not real comfortable with that method.
The Church has wept with me. The Church has let me wallow at the bottom of the barrell. The Church has reached in a pulled me out of the barrell. The Church brought us food. The Church paid our mortgage. The Church heated my house. The Church paid medical bills,
Which church? THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST! Some of them gather in homes, some at lakes and camps and some in cafe’s and pubs. Some meet in giant, ornate buildings.
The CHURCH OF JESUS IS ALWAYS ON THE MOVE.
I am learning a lot through suffering. I don’t like it at all … but I am growing.
I love you, Scottio! . . . thanks for always helping me to define my “role” and ultimately discovering my true role.
Real “gospel wakefulness” is this. Returning again and again to Christ, resting in him and his finished work. It sounds unattainable, unscrutable. Cling to Christ anyway. Brokenness will find us. Be holding hands with Christ when it does. And you are!
Very, very well-written and I totally agree.
I need to find The Church to plug into in my area. I could use a dose of it.
Love it. The difference between practicing religion and practicing Christ.