The title of this post tells you of my heart for the church. I’ve been fairly silent in the blogosphere lately…partly because of some vacation and then a mission to the St. Bernard Parish, but also because I’ve been a bit discouraged lately with church leadership and taking time to understandGod’s direction for the Redwood Hillls community. When I get this way I tend to unplug a bit and try to listen more than I talk.
Prayer and compassion. Switch the two and the church is nothing more than a non-profit. Replace compassion with outreach programs and we often find ourselves busy “doing” church rather than having a true sense of corporate and individual mission. It’s a fine line that requires constant examination.
I suggest that there is nothing more important for the church to both engage in and display, than prayer and compassion. By prayer, I mean the corporate sense. People coming together in homes, sanctuaries, chapels, and church classrooms to pray together for the protection and mission of their church. It’s something that I’m imagining for my church and praying that people will soon respond to my call for a community that prays together.
If I were to ask my friends who aren’t a part of a church community to “list several words that come to your mind when I say Church”…they would likely list things such as “anti-gay, anti-abortion, exclusive, money-hungry, consumed with their own buildings, and irrelevant“. Just today, a friend told me I was crazy for believing that God loves me! It breaks my heart knowing that people have so rarely seen God’s love, that they assume there can be no divine love given for their own lives!
Compassion is essential to the life of every Christian and church vision! Outreaches which attempt to draw people to an event won’t cut it, unless we are also willing to come to them in genuine relationship. Talking “love” is pointless unless the church is willing to explore the implications of God’s grace. Compassion is no small thing…it takes constant consideration and sacrifice. The church can’t control what they deem to be true compassion…we must promote and allow people to practice it on their own, while making corporate prayer the driving force behind our actions.
Prayer and compassion…two very difficult disciplines ,but so important to the life and future of the church. Question is…are we willing to engage in both of them?
Love and Peace.