If an organization has been established for long enough, they’ll eventually hit a barrier that’s loosely titled: Something Needs to Change.
And if something needs to change, that means something is either not going well, or something could be better, right?
When we look at the construct of the Church today – notice the capital C, meaning “Church” as the whole enchilada – we step into what has already been created for us to operate within. In other words, we’re not re-creating church, we’re just noticing how we can make it better.
But if you’ve grown up in different denominational churches or have heard rumors about what this whole *finger quotations* Church thing is about, then you probably have a basket full of eggs that you don’t know what to do with. Or you’re not even sure what’s true and which ones are the opinions of your family that you’ve just gone along with.
Your questions and doubts about what you believe are the same questions and doubts that every other church-goer has too. So, how do we get church-goers (old and new) to trust the Church?
People don’t buy into organizations; they buy into people.Craig Groeschel
No longer is this the age of the creepy-dude-with-a-white-van-offering-candy. We’re adults with questions and we’re not willing to believe anyone these days.
Trust begins with a personal relationship.
Whether it was the youth leader that believed in you, the football coach that pushed you, or the boss that gave you a chance, there is someone in every difficult season that leveraged you into a decision. Even if (and especially if) you’ve ever made a decision to leave whatever you were doing. It’s personal.
Because I work in ministry, I’m very susceptible to collapsing into my content little Christian bubble. I try my best to listen and read many different things so that I can relate to actual people, which, you know, is the purpose of my job, so… The Armchair Expert podcast with Dax Shepard is one of my favorite podcasts. It can be off-color and require a 15-second fast-forward here and there, but I take so many good notes from every episode.
The one I listened to recently was an interview with one of my favorite authors and over-all kick-butt individuals, Brené Brown. And while she loves Jesus, she hasn’t always, and even admitted to her current struggles with the Church:
I think it’s how people use God. I don’t think God is inherently shaming, [but some churches are.]Brené Brown
I’m not sure at exactly what point in history the Church made a move toward judgment and shaming individuals, but I can think of a few historical blemishes on our record. And I say “our” because we’re in this together. Even if you didn’t do anything, we’re the generation charged with cleaning it up.
Maybe, Church should just be about how we accept and love people for where they’re at.
Think of the ripple that would create. There’s no more eggs. There’s no more baskets. We’re just a bunch of chickens trying to figure it all out.
Don’t get me wrong – the things that churches create are great. Lights and projectors. Stages and songs. Coffee and t-shirts. They’re all great. Honestly. But, when was the last time you knew of someone coming to church seeking those things?
When we serve on Sundays, it’s not about us. Not even close. We’re in the business of loving people because Jesus died to know us. And if Jesus thought we were worth dying for, how we make the coffee and how we sing songs should set us apart.
We’re not selling good ideas. We’re selling truth.
One of Hillsong United’s newest songs is entitled “Ready or Not.” One of the lyrics says this: “come, now / as you are / or as you want to be.”
When I serve, I don’t need to know if a person’s worthy of my love because Jesus already decided that for all of us. No gimmicks or flashy sayings, just a place that’s made to love you where you’re at. Ready or not.