New Year’s Resolutions.
Ever made one?
One of the easiest things to do is make a new year’s resolution. One of the most difficult things to do is to follow up and resolve your resolution.
2013 moves quickly upon us. Church fitness is something that is on the mind of some folks. Perhaps people you know would like to have a group that works out together. Or perhaps there is a diet that some folks you know would like to attempt. Or perhaps you’re not even close to being interested in your fitness levels. Or maybe church fitness to you means the pulse of your church.
What if, instead of Church fitness, or how fit the Church was, we were concerned about another fit.
Like, how does the church fit your needs and/or expectations.
It’s important to know that when you are looking for a church, there is going to be something that doesn’t fit. Your kids may not like the youth group. Or you may not like the worship. Or the teacher is not that good. Or the sermon goes to long. Or you aren’t really able to get “plugged in.”
But we all make compromises. We all are willing to give a little if what we have is good enough. We put up with what falls short for the greater good.
If you are in this space, if you are looking for a church home, let me challenge your thought process…and you know this…
No Church Is Perfect
So you can rest at ease when you visit somewhere and feel it is something that doesn’t fit you.
You will see the youth group and realize there is never a perfect youth group. You will hear the worship leaders, or participate in the worship and realize there is never a perfect worship environment. You have to cater to many genres. You will hear the teacher say something a little off and realize that every teacher isn’t the best. They couldn’t possibly be the best every time. And when you try to get plugged in the opportunities are rare, or difficult, or not you. You realize that every opportunity to plug in isn’t perfect.
But there is another way.
This other way requires a different paradigm. It requires a different foundation.
You see, when we go church shopping, we are looking at the church from a consumer’s perspective. We have a list and are checking it twice…maybe once. We want to find out if this is the place that will meet a lot of my requirements.
Sometimes we sacrifice some of our personal desires for the greater good. We accept the shortcomings because some of the things are great!
This is a very human-centered, dare I say it, self-centered approach to our faith and The Church.
What if we saw The Church as something that wasn’t of us? What if we lived as if Jesus Christ Himself was the Church planter? He initiates. He creates. He manages. He leads.
What if we allowed Him to be the Builder, the Cornerstone?
It might look a little different.
He might break us.
He might prune us.
He might shave us.
He might mold us.
He might shape us.
He might fit us into His building project, His Church.
But this is from the understanding that you are not building. I am not building. Jesus Christ is building. He is the Cornerstone of His Church. He brings together living stones that He shapes and molds and fits together.
So, next time you go church shopping, or hopping, realize that The Church is not a consumer’s purchase, or something that fits your lifestyle, or something that you can pick and choose from.
The Church is a beautifully difficult project that will disassemble and rebuild you and me to fit into a Building that houses the very Spirit of God. This work is not done by you or me either. Christ is at work in and through this process.
Some times that hurts.
All the time it is worth it.
You also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5 NASB)