Why Church?

Hello SNC friends!
If you remember last week we talked about the church. We spoke about how some people have pointed at the church as their reason for why they do not believe in God. I shared with you three toxic poisons (the three TPs) that can run in the veins of christians and churches; that make them become places that are hurtful; uninviting; uninspired; powerless places. They become toxic.

This is an area of strong interest for me because I’ve seen the toxic church. As a minister for over twenty years, I’ve been in some very toxic situations behind the scenes of church. I’ve seen deacons fist fighting over the issue of dancing. I’ve seen a pastor grab one of his staff members and yell in her face. I’ve seen gossip; and bitter feuding. I’ve seen pastors fall. I’ve seen churches drive pastors into retirement. There are many stories out there of the carnage that is left in the wake of a toxic church.

This was enough to bring me to the brink on several occasions; of giving up on the church. But no matter which way I could rationalize I couldn’t (and still cannot) escape God’s heart for His church written in the pages of the Bible. He loves his church!

I’ve heard people say: “I love Jesus but I don’t love the church. So it’s just Jesus and me!!!” Here’s the problem with that statement – you claim to love Jesus but you are attacking and writing off one of the things He is most passionate about. The church in all its imperfections and weaknesses is still the bride of Christ and He loves her!!!

So here’s my invitation to you this week. Open your Bible and find some passages where God is talking about his church. Go on google and start a web search on this. I think you’ll be amazed to see just how passionate Christ is about His church. As a church we need to fight the toxic poisons that can run in our veins. We need to be willing to ask tough questions because Jesus loves us and wants us to be a place that gives life and pursues a powerful vision. I think God wants to run rampant with us – to blow our minds – to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine for the sake of His kingdom! I believe Jesus wants us to look at our lives and be amazed at how God has allowed us to impact this world……

I don’t know where this church will be in 60 years – heck I don’t even know what we’ll look like in ten years – but darnit – my hope is we’ll look back and say – we saw what church could look like – powerful; passionate; purposeful; and we can point to how God used us in Sunland!

Take time this week to search the church. God loves us folks – and He believes in us – because He knows He is there to make us something extraordinary. The question is: do we believe?

Have a blessed week everyone!
Pastor Ryan