i had no choice in being an only child.
i had no choice in growing up without grandparents…and only a few aunts and uncles and cousins that i seldom, if ever, saw.
i simply had no choice in who my family was. i was given my family and i had to make the best of it (which i did). family is a whole lot like playing the hand your dealt. you don’t get to hand in your “bad” cards for three new ones.
church, on the other hand, is completely different. at least the church you call your family.
(i’m not talking about the universal church…the church made up of all followers of christ, everywhere…including the ones of different color and different theology and different personality. i have a feeling there might be a whole lot of people going, “…ewww. they’re here?”, when the final act is played out.)
here in the now, people get to choose their church family. they choose to come. they choose to stay. they choose to leave. i have no problem with that. i’m glad god gives us that freedom to pick and choose and find who we want to live our lives with and where we best fit in…to worship and serve and grow and give.
we have the right and responsibility to evaluate and be critical of what we see in a church family. we have to scrape below the surface to see what makes a church family tick and see if there can be a healthy connection.
but i’ve been thinking about this from a different angle, as i prepare for week #2 of our sermon series on “the church”.
what if the church family we want, is not really the church family we need?
what if the things we are drawn to in the life of a church, are the exact opposite of what we need to grow? what if the things that bring the greatest joy and good feelings, are the very things that are hindering a deeper discipleship? what if, instead of providing us happiness and contentment, god is really looking to stretch us and mold us into something he can really use for noble purposes?
i’ll say it again. what if the church family you want, is not the church family you need?