Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What Does Church Look Like?

True story... a young woman minister was leading a Bible study at her church for people right off the streets-- people who didn't fit into any church in town. They met after hours when the regular church folks weren't around… that apparently made it safer for somebody. One day as this young woman sat and talked and prayed with these gang bangers, one of them became so caught up in emotion over his need to change his life that he picked up the metal folding chair he was sitting on and threw it against a wall… right where there was a window.

The window shattered as the chair connected with the metal grate that covered the outside of the window. (Why would a church have metal grates over its windows? To keep church people in, or folks who need Jesus out?!) Being the dutiful person she was, this young minister reported the incident to her church’s board—and they promptly fired her.

I believe in God, and I believe in the possibilities of His church. I’m thinking that church has got to become more of the place it was created to be… aware of its own inconsistencies and shortcoming… willing to laugh at itself and cry over the lives of broken people. Church is at its best when it binds up the wounded as it has had its wounds bound up. We have all got blemishes, one leg shorter than the other, bad hair and heartbreak, and tears that at times don’t seem to ever stop.

How about if we stop being "okay"... and start really being church.