Like most people, I’ve been hurt by church.
When I went off to college, I was just starting to pursue God. I had always considered myself a Christian, but I didn’t really know what that meant besides the good ol’ truth of, Jesus died for me. So I did what anyone would do, and went to a church that my friends went to.
I spent some time in church when I was younger, but this was the church that brought me up. I’m eternally grateful for them. But, I also was hurt by them. Not a single person, but the church in total. That is a whole other story that I won’t get into.
This church, like many others, had/has two focuses. 1. To get rid of any sin in your life and 2. To make disciples.
I now go to a church that is focused on 1. the presence of God and 2. the power of the Holy Spirit. 3. the revival of the city, nation and world.
I’ve lived my life with the thought that there are no perfect churches, but there are for sure better churches than others. I honestly still believe that. But recently, God has been working on me about focusing on what he is doing. Not just in my life, but my city and the world.
This conviction/revelation came over me the other day about how every person in the body has a different function. This also means that every body of believers, similarly, has a different function. We all have a different focus, a different goal, a different vision. And that is okay. Shoot, it is how God made it to be!
There are no better visions than someone else’s or some other church. We all have a part to play. And we can’t all focus on the same thing.
For example. Let’s take a group of churches in one city. One church focuses on making disciples on the east side. Another, focuses on making disciples on the west. While another focuses on single motherhood and the orphan crisis. Another, pour resources into the homeless community. One spends tons of times volunteering in schools and hospitals. And so on, and so forth.
If we had every church focus on one problem, that problem would probably be eliminated. Which is amazing, but everything else would be neglected. And that is not good.
We can’t all do everything, but if we all do what God calls us to (too??), then all will be cared for.
God tells each of us to live a certain way. But he has distributed different gifts and visions to each of us to be carried out so that the whole world would be filled with his glory (which is us and himself, yay!).
So the two different churches I mentioned above, which is better? Neither. We both have different functions. And we need that. See, I was hurt, partially, because I felt lied to. I felt like they weren’t doing what I thought they should be doing. I found their focus to be off. But in reality, my focus had shifted, and that is okay. No one is in the wrong. Neither is more right. We both are following Jesus.
This doesn’t mean we can ignore the life God has called each of us too. The standard of the Christian life is universal. Love god, love people, make disciples, heal the sick, raise the dead, disciple nations, encourage others, be holy, be fruitful and represent the father. But the vision and function of each of us, and the bodies we chose to be a part of, are different.
Each of our bodies has the good and bad. And we all are moving from glory to glory. We need to honor and encourage each other in the place we are in. And push to come to know the love of God more and more. To move in power and love to our neighbors. And to seek the Kingdom above all else. As we continue to do this, instead of being negative about other bodies, we will see the shift not only in how people perceive the church, but the amount of good that we can do in this world. And finally. See the revival that we all have been longing to see.
By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one anotherJohn 13:35