Well, I’m back from vacation. . . I’ll start posting again soon. In the meantime, I want to tell you my story.
After attending Liquid Church for a year (furtively and intermittently from June ’07 until November ’07), I finally became a member on May 30. It’s funny how God does things. If you’d have asked me a year ago when I first started attending Liquid if I saw myself becoming a member, I probably would have laughed at you. Liquid Church was my secret church. I would attend my former church in the morning, swing by Liquid in the afternoon, and be back at my other church in the evening.
But God seemed to have other plans. And I learned something along the way. Church doesn’t exist for me. It’s not about what I want in a church or what makes me feel happy or comfortable. We, as Christ’s followers, are the Church. We exist for Him. So, while I felt comfortable at other churches along my journey during the time period between November and May, I knew I wasn’t fulfilling God’s will for me within the Body of His Bride.
At one church in particular, I’d begun to use my musical gifts to serve. I sang in the choir, the praise team, and the rock band. But I could sense my selfishness coming through. Music was something I’d learned as a little child. I worked at it through high school and college, and somehow I felt that was what I was supposed to do in church. But it seems God had other plans for me.
So here I am, sporting a blue t-shirt that says, “Living water for a thirsty world,” and I find myself wondering how I got to this place in my life. I didn’t go to school for any sort of leadership position, and yet there I was, leading a Life Group. I didn’t study people skills, and yet I find myself engaging in conversation after conversation with total strangers, completely at ease with the exchange.
I’m not saying all of this to brag, because I have nothing to brag about. God gave me these unique gifts; He knew exactly where I would be in June ’08. He pulled me away from Parsippany Baptist Church—where I’d been comfortable for 17 years, through Hawthorne Gospel Church—where I thought I’d found a new home, and finally to Liquid Church—where I’m stripped of any ability to boast in my achievements and talents. Where I’m able to touch people’s lives with the Gospel. Where I’m learning to live out the “new commandment” that Christ gave to His followers (John 13.34).
Church isn’t about me. It’s about God. We are the Body of Christ. We are the ones called to heal the broken, feed the hungry, quench the dryness of the thirsty. How can we do that if, as we search for a church to call home, we look for the best preacher or the best band or the best choir?
Here’s what I want you to think about: is your church fulfilling the mission for which the Church was called? If not, can you do something about it? If so, are you actively being a part of that mission? Are you using whatever means at God’s disposal to help your church fulfill that mission?
If you’re seeking a church, what are you looking for in it? Are you trying to find a church with a good music program? An engaging preacher? Or are you looking for a church that longs to reach out to the lost and wants you to be a part of that mission?
Craig Groeschel, lead pastor of LifeChurch.tv in Edmond, Oklahoma, went around New York City asking people on the street what they thought about Christianity. One answer stuck out to me. The interviewee said, “Christianity, I think, is a dying faith. It’s been dying for the past decade, and it’s only getting worse.”
Perhaps. But behind all of the bickering, all of the infighting, all of the debating among denominations, revival is coming. . .
“I see a generation
Rising up to take their place
With selfless faith, with selfless faith
I see a near revival
Stirring as we pray and seek
We’re on our knees, we’re on our knees
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity”
So, after all of that, my one prayer is this: “Father, make us yours.”