Sunday

the church is not a business...

so i had this conversation recently about church.
because you know,
i've been writing about church a lot lately and
if you have read here long
you know we are not attending church currently and
we lean towards organic church but also
that we have not given up completely
on the institution.
we may return to a church building some day,
we may not.
but i am reposting this because it's on my mind as
i had basically this same talk the other day and
since i'm not getting ready for church this morning...

We struggle with the modern church,
there is so much that we cannot overlook and
i know,
it's people,
there's no perfection but
we are not looking for perfection,
just the opposite...
for family,
for honesty,
for a clashing of ideas and grace,
for discussion and truth and beauty,
for meals shared and family togetherness,
for no one to look down on anyone else and
for judgements to be non existent,
for people to talk and read and think for themselves,
not for programs and
counseling and
budgets and
if i wanted to be a part of a business i would
and it wouldn't be the church.

when we were church planting in washington a couple years back
my husband met with a young man,
early 20's,
who was interested in planting with us and
my husband walked away disheartened,
for this man,
eager to be a part of a church plant,
kept talking to my husband about how
"the church is a business" and
"needs to be run like a business."
and i don't understand why,
why would we
sell Christ's bride to the highest bidder?
she is beautiful,
she is loved,
He already paid for her,
and yet we want to restrict her and
regulate her and
program her and
fix her
for our purposes,
instead of lovingly, gently
care for her and ready her and
hand her over to the Bridegroom with
tenderness.

i'm not saying i have the answers.
if i did we would not be visiting churches,
looking for organic church,
doubled over in prayer for guidance and a
settling of the disturbed heart.
but i do know that so much change is needed,
that if we continue to view the church as a business and
just another piece of the american dream,
if we spend our thousands of dollars on redoing the parking lot
with delightful yet unused landscaping and
waste our time with every program imaginable,
if we appoint a committee to oversee the committee that
oversees the committee which oversees the pastor
who is in charge but
not really because
he is underneath the committee,
if we treat the bride like a business,
she will end up like a business...
abused, greedy, self seeking and diluted. 

but if we treat the bride as a bride,
and each member as our own family...
if we embrace each other and live life together,
if we give all we have and
open our arms
we are creating a place for Love to dwell and
dwell He will,
whether in an old church building or
on the faded cozy couches
of a living room.

  *hey, i want to thank you all for your kindness on my gentle parenting post.  like seriously.  i received the nicest comments and questions and i am really humbled by it all.  love you guys.

*oh, and i put the link to my fb page back up.  i'm going to try and maintain it , we'll see, so you can go like it if you want. 

3 comments:

  1. You put exactly what stays on my mind\heart all the time, so logically and gently (my thoughts are a bit harsher haha) its like you are reading my mind. I feel sometimes that people think im crazy when i share my frustrations with the church institute. Thank you for putting it into words. You are not alone. Praying with and for you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We haven't been at a traditional "church" in 12 years. We see the CHURCH as a group of people not a place. :) We meet with believers often and the Spirit moves and ministers naturally. We are very fullfilled with the Lord and He has always been faithful to bring like minded people our way. The simplicity of the gospel is what we crave. Love your blog! Blessings...

    ReplyDelete