December 11, 2011

church is not a place

The weird and the broken. That's what we jokingly call ourselves. The church of the weird and the broken. I could not love a group of people more than I love this group I call my "church family". For the last two years I have been one of the 'broken'. I have struggled deeply in my relationship with God. There, I said it out loud. Not struggled with believing IN Him, mind you, just BELIEVING Him. I have continued to pray every day, though I quit praying for myself, because I reached the point where I don't think He listens to me or cares. I know in my head this isn't true, but I can't convince my heart otherwise. Despite that, I'm not sure what I would do without these people in my life ... they make me better.

I grew up with a very legalistic view of church. "Going to church" was a requirement. "Being good". "Earning salvation" by being in a perfect church filled with fake people who pretended to be perfect as well. We sat in our pristine buildings, based our belief system on a handful of verses taken out of context, and patted ourselves on the back for being God's favorites. If only everyone else would open their eyes and see "the right way" as we saw it...

It took a while for that twisted view to morph into something much different, for me and for the church I call my family. We stopped seeing the Bible as an instruction manual, and started reading it as the story of God's presence in the lives of His people. We gave up pretending to be perfect, and are much more open with our flaws, our struggles, our humanity. We stopped sitting in a building up on a hill waiting for the world to come to us to find God, and have become a group of people who get outside our four walls and try to BE Jesus to the people around us.

We also happen to love each other. And pray for each other. And annoy each other. And laugh with each other. And cry with each other. And hurt each other's feelings. And forgive each other. And take care of each other. It's a perfect imperfect church.

As I work through my own junk and struggle to find hope again, I'm blessed to have this group of weird and broken people in my life every week.


Sara said...

How did I miss this post? It's the best one ever. I love it. And I love you.

Matt Phillips said...

Wow... I know this is like 2 years old, but I absolutely love it.
This is exactly the worldview (the script) by which i want to live my life. I have been in churches for so long that view things the old way, and I feel twisted by that.
I can't wait to get to Reidland!

-Matt Phillips