I can’t go back to church. I mean, I can’t go back, because church isn’t a place or a time. I need to find a new way of doing church. What I really mean is I need to find a new way of being church.
I want a church where the word gift is always connected to something to I give to others, and is not just something fun for me to do I happen to be really good at.
I want a church where vision means I genuinely see the person right in front of me right now, instead of meaning my fantasy about being somewhere better with more interesting people.
I want a church where heaven is an adjective that describes who and what and where we are right now, not merely a noun for a deferred utopia. I want a church that reminds me I am absolutely capable of creating a hell for others right here on earth, and also reminds me it doesn’t have to be that way.
I want a church where mission doesn’t mean sending something or someone away to another place or people who I feel are lesser than me. I want a church where it is recognised we are always both the missionary and the mission field, and where where giving and receiving are returning seasons for us all, not merely passing events we may choose to participate in.
And when I say “I want a church”, I don’t mean I’m looking for one. I mean this is my goal. I want to be this church.
I want a church where we don’t set aside time to worship, because we came in doing it and we left the exact same way.
I want a church where teaching means the charmed ones learn from and lean toward the suffering, instead of exclusively the reverse.
I want a church where spiritual means the Helper He promised to leave with us sets the culture. I want a church where things change, and where we are not afraid to make mistakes, to fail, or to be ugly or messy. Because anything that is alive not only breathes and grows, it also cries, gets hungry and cranky, and creates crap that needs to be dealt with.
I want a church where it doesn’t matter how many and who came, it only matters that we notice the ones who do.
I want a church where were all not trying to be something else. Please, can I just not be told any more I need to be something else.
I want to be a church without just the backs of people’s heads to look at. I want to see all our faces. No front row. No spotlight. Just us.
I want a church that doesn’t set people up to fail, or succeed. I want a church that doesn’t set people up, full stop. I want a church that doesn’t make captives so it can then make a show of setting them free again. I want a church that acknowledges healing of all kinds is a process, and being hurt or sick is not a failure.
I want a church where your testimony doesn’t define you.
I want to be a church without a pretext on who gets to do what based on cultural or sociological assigments. God made people, not persons, and he is no respecter of the latter.
This is the church I want. But I don’t want you to provide it for me. I’m willing to be this church.
What kind of church would you like to be?
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