Today, I rounded an important corner: I had to repent of despising my church.
I don’t mean the Church Universal, the Bride of Christ — we’ve never had problems. But my local church, The Journey… we’ve had a love-hate relationship for some time. I see things differently. The directions, the approaches, the focus of effort — these all frustrate me. And I’ve been hurt. I’ve spent a couple of years moving past my pain. And I have tried to reduce my frustrations by letting go of my need to change anything.
I’m not sure why I was invited to a leadership retreat today. But I was, so I went. And there, I got to know some really wonderful people — beautiful people, committed to doing whatever they can so that “people who are currently not actively pursuing faith in the context of a local church will be welcomed into The Journey Community.” And these people being reached are not treated as statistics, or notches on a belt. The care is genuine. I heard stories of lives gradually being transformed.
It was a beautiful thing, and I had to repent.
Then there was a surprisingly long and open time of worship. This is not a charismatic church by any stretch, and the people usually want the safety of structure and control. But something happened. I don’t know how many people were aware of what exactly was taking place, but I think everybody sensed something unusual. It was clear to me, even apart from my trembling: the Holy Spirit was moving.
I will continue to see things differently.
I may continue to be frustrated.
But today, God did a work of healing in my heart.
Update: Ray Hollenbach has taken what I shared and turned it into a meditation at Students of Jesus: Beautiful People?