random musings* about the church

we try really hard to be attractive to the world around us. we make our services “seeker oriented”. this is code for people don’t like to dress up for church, as if people who have been in church their whole lives aren’t seeking. i think there must be planning commitees whose sole purpose is to choose a one-word name for a church or group. engage….exchange…..fuse…..it’s easier to market a trendy word as opposed to a traditional contruct of a religous gathering. i am currently involved in a group that wants to draw younger people who wouldn’t normally be attracted to church. we have meetings in a bar. the band is well staffed with guys in skinny jeans and religiously oriented tatoos. it definitely doens’t have the feel of traditional church. i was in the back of the room, watching 150 20 somethings pour their love on jesus. and it was precious. and weird. it’s not weird to me. i understand what it means to “release the kingdom” or “be touched by the spirit.” but for someone who hasn’t been made alive in christ (another phrase that is just plain crazy to those not familiar with the venacular) it’s still strange. don’t get me wrong, this group that meets is giving a place for people to worship and build community, in theory. but i still think that unless the spirit shows a person truth, christianity is weird. sometimes i wish i hadn’t been raised in the church. i would like to have the perspective a person on the outside looking in. what really makes a person draw close to jesus when all they see is his people? it’s not how cool our graphics are or how similar our musical structure is to what they normally listen to. i am reading a book about christianity and the arts and we serve THE CREATOR. our graphics should be amazing and our music compelling. in the end, thought, i think it’s just the holy spirit working in our lives to show himself to someone who hasn’t met him yet. and that can happen anywhere, with any level of trendiness or lack there of. it’s funny how much the church runs after the person who doesn’t know jesus and takes for granted those who have never known anything else. i can speak to this. in my hard times, i’ve gone to spiritual authoriy to ask for help for my brokeness and without fail, have been asked “Where are you serving the body?” yep, as a lifer, you aren’t allowed to just be broken and empty. i mean, you CAN be, but you have to be serving somewhere too. it’s only the truly godless that get real mercy from the church with no strings attached. my church is charleston wasn’t like this. i just got to hurt when i hurt and that made me want to serve. i LOVE my current church and i’m excited to see young people loving jesus. but “seeker” also means people who have never known anything else but the love of jesus but still find themselves ignored by all the fishing of men. the coffee house is closing. i should go.
*venting that sounds more bitter than it actually is.


2 Responses to random musings* about the church

  1. Jared says:

    I hate the church sometimes. And get really mad at God sometimes.
    This is a really F-ed up world with a lot of broken and hurting people. (Guess I’m still infected with the Calvinism I grew up with because someone told me just the other day that I have a really low view of humanity!) I so often see in my work the consequences of sin (Who else sees as much? Inner city teachers? Social workers who work with kids? Not to many others…) and feel so inadequate to offer anything. So it makes me bitter and angry. I stop going to church for a month at a time.
    I keep coming back to faith and works. I have to have faith that someday everything will be ok. I can’t see it very often, but God promised to wipe away every tear. That means He will make it OK. We won’t forget, I’m not even sure we will see a nice neat and tidy life lesson reason for it all. We will just be healed so deeply that it will all be OK, whatever that looks like.
    I work to make the world a better place as the corollary. If I focus on the works though and forget the faith then I get angry/bitter/depressed and the cycle starts all over again.

  2. Hope Clark says:

    I think that the unfortunate–and incredible–thing about this is that God chooses those of us who believe in Him to be His reflection in this world. Unfortunate because… my, how we botch that up every day! Incredible because we obviously can’t do it without His Holy Spirit to help us. And yeah, appearances do matter…especially if we are trying to speak the language of a world that cares about appearances so that we can translate God to them. And yes, He can do it all by Himself, and he doesn’t need us to do it for Him. But he chose us to be a part of the process. Now if we could only save our wounded instead of shoot them.

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