I’d officially like to take a moment and establish myself as a church geek:
I absolutely love reading books about churches.
Now, when I say churches, I don’t mean the huge beautiful but old-looking buildings. I’m talking about the church and movement and bride of Christ that Jesus started a little over 2,000 years ago. I’m talking about people. I’m talking about disciples of Jesus.
To me, church is one of the most beautiful things on Earth besides soft chocolate-chip cookies fresh out of the oven. And because Christ loves her so much, I love her so much. Now, once again, you may have a very different experience with what “church” is—perhaps even a sour taste when you hear the word. But guess what? That probably wasn’t the church, or at least the most vibrant and effective church.
Listen, I’ve been hurt by many churches before, too. I’ve seen their hypocrisy, their apathy, and their words spoken louder than their actions. I get it if you feel that way toward churches. But here’s the thing: I’ve also seen glimpses of what the church was really meant to be. Through the early church and even the Chinese underground church, you can see how wonderful, real, and effective a church can be to those around her.
Seeing, then, the way most churches function in Western culture brings me great sadness and sometimes anger because I know there’s more to life than meeting once a week to talk about God. Oh, how I yearn for Christians to wake up and stop settling for less. It’s like Jesus handing out the latest iPhone to everyone, and instead of utilizing such an amazing tool to further the Kingdom of God, we turn to a cardboard version of it and think we’re fine. Even worse: we begin to believe that’s all there is to life.
Through many years of hardship and with much prayer, God’s placed this burden on my heart to see the church wake up from her slumber and begin moving again, increasing her heart rate in order for the love of Christ to flow through her once more. Now is the time to see the world for what it is, to look at it through the eyes of a missionary, a foreigner, and truly follow the Holy Spirit as he leads us to following Jesus everyday. Everyday. Together.
Church isn’t just an event on Sunday mornings. Church is a group of followers of Jesus who lay down their lives for the Kingdom everyday and seek to serve and love Christ.
“All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer.A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” – Acts 2:42-47