Growing the Church 4: Church as Hospital
A Mark Wilson post:
As I journey through my recovery I have noticed two kinds of church.
The first kind is where everyone dresses well and the choir (music team) is well trained. The minister is called a pastor even if they don’t have that gifting. Everyone stands and sits together. Kids are ushered out. Lights, camera, action! And when the event is over, it’s time to do it all again, because the church must grow.
The second kind doesn’t concern themselves about the niceties. Kids are there, or not. They make noises… simply because they make noises. People stand and sit as and when they need to. People feel safe enough to go get coffee or tea at any time. people sit up against walls or up the back if they want to hang back because they are having a lousy day or week.
When things are going well in your life this first kind of church is great to attend. But if you’re in a bad place, needing to find comfort or support… it’s not so great.
In my walk I’ve come to easily spot who will give support and accept some of my past and not judge me for it. I’ve also come to see how many people in the church will try and “expose” my sin or refuse to eat with me because I am a sinner (as Paul appears to condone)
But the thing is… people sin because they have needs (like emotional support and comfort and love) that are not being met. How will rejecting the person ever help to meet those needs and help the person to heal?
It should be a safe haven for the hurting. A place of rest for the weary.
A time for recovery and strengthening. A place to form healthy monday-friday relationships, not just sunday relationships.
A place where the sick get healed.
If you run a church… is your church a healing church? Do you intentionally and actively embrace the natural and normal lives of people? Or do you expect them to conform to YOUR idea of normal church life.
If you attend a church… is your church embracing you? Is your church set up in such a way that you feel able to be yourself and share? Is your church helping you become a healed person?
This lack of love is the underlying reason why people are increasingly reconfiguring. They are meeting informally and are trying to form stronger bonds with others around them. Read some of the Barna research.
It’s pharasaical to imagine that anyone is without sin. It’s insensitive to not embrace and support one another as they are.
- It is true that the way that people get hurt is from a lack of love (abuse, rejection, lack of care or nurture etc.)
- It is also true that the way that people are restored… is through the restoration of love.
- And the church is tasked with that job… of reaching out to the masses and restoring them, by being light, a source of love, fruit, water.
- So what is your church doing to heal people? How loving is your church? How loving are your people encouraged to be?
In the video below, I have NO IDEA who this church is and I DON’T endorse them. But the message of rejection is all too familiar in my life and this video shows what it feels like when perfect people move away from an imperfect person.