The Church Needs You. And It Needs All Of You.

The Church needs you. Like, it needs you.

The Church needs your story, your wrestlings, your questions and doubts, your open palms, your fears and authenticities…it needs your story of Gospel Redemption. It needs your life, not like the blood in your veins, although it needs that too…it needs your lifetime. Your day-to-day, your smiles and tears, your coffee pot and even your front yard.

And when I say “Church” do you think of little white steeples and neatly lined pews? Or perhaps the industrial-modern campus downtown in some city, groaning to be heard?

I’m not talking about buildings at all. I’m not talking about locations. I’m talking about a move of God. I’m talking about the Beautifully Broken Body of Christ.

The Body of Christ needs you.

The Body of Christ needs Mothers. It needs your gifting and talents, the way you crave truth and community. It needs your fierceness. Your heart for the oppressed. Your wild love-in-action. It needs women who refuse to listen to loud, alluring voices, and instead it needs women who work relentlessly hard to hear and obey the Word of God.

The Body of Christ needs the Deeply Broken. It needs to grieve with you and rejoice with you, to listen to all that God has done in you. It needs you to remind us that when God begins a mighty work, he sees it through to completion. But mostly, it needs your bravery and boldness…because you know darkness like few others do, and that means you know how to wage war against spiritual oppressors that seem impossible to overcome. You know the transformational power of the Holy Spirit. You are the evidence of it. And we need to see what God does when his spirit gets Holy-Deep inside a lost lost soul.

The Body of Christ needs Fathers. It needs you to wrap your arms around the orphaned and abandoned, to speak truth and identity over the souls of the wounded. It needs you to be unapologetically for justice. And it needs the sureness of your God-Given role as a protector and defender. It needs you to be healthy, discipled, humble, aware of the weight on your shoulders, aware of the power of your own voice.

The Body of Christ needs Children. It needs to hold them, to delight in them, and to speak truth over them that builds a supernaturally firm foundation of an Identity in Christ. It needs that childlike wonder and joy. It needs your insatiable appetite for miracles, and your absolute faith that is not easily shaken.

The Body of Christ needs Grandmothers and Grandfathers. It needs your wisdom. IT NEEDS YOUR WISDOM! It needs to hear and witness the faithfulness of God in your life. It needs you to stand as a testament of God’s unfailing goodness. It needs your love, encouragement, guidance, and most of all I think it needs your homes. The Body of Christ needs your open doors, the peace of a home filled with trinkets of a life well lived. It needs your couches, for the struggling marriage, for the mother who never saw what mothers are supposed to do, for the man who doesn’t know how to be both gentle and bold.

The Body of Christ needs Artists and Creators. It needs the beauty you alone see. It needs your expressions, reflecting the creative nature of God through color and sound and texture and words. It needs the story you long to tell, the story placed deep inside you by the Holy Spirit.

The Body of Christ needs the Thinkers and the Doers. It needs your steadfastness. Your determination. It needs to see the reflection of God the Father in you. It needs the way you process information. It needs your ability to act upon wisdom.

The Body of Christ absolutely needs Young People. It needs your dreams and passions. It needs to hear all that God has placed on your heart. It needs your ability to resonate love to a generation of souls suffering in silence. It needs your enthusiasm, your practical help, your questions, and it even needs the way you challenge systems. Do not let anyone look down on you simply because you are young. And shame to those who do. Hold your head high, and do not be ashamed of who God has created you to be, of what burns inside of you. When you combine the giftings of the Holy Spirit with radical authenticity inside thriving community, and cover that all in the truth of Christ, you’ll see God move in ways that will take away your ability to breathe. You will see miracles.

You guys!!

We are missing so so much inside the church. We are missing the inherent, multi-generational relationships.

And the older you are, the longer you have been walking with the Lord, the more this weight falls on your shoulders and on mine.

If you have walked with the Lord for two or three or five decades and you’ve never discipled a single soul…you aren’t just missing out on getting to know a younger generation, you are missing out on the MIGHTY and BEAUTIFUL work that you are designed to accomplish. You are not furthering the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes, the people The Church needs the most, are the ones who rant and complain the most. It’s impossible hard work to spread the Gospel when your lips haven’t stopped mumbling in 15 years. Shut up. And get to work. Sometimes, God needs you be silent.

The Body of Christ needs people to get up out of their seats!

The Body of Christ needs people who spend less time inside a church building, and more time outside of it.

Write these words on your arms, wear them like a garment: Jesus walked and talked and ate and lived and cried and laughed and he did it all outside of the walls of a church building.

How do you heal a marriage? Over dinner. Over time. With Love in action.

How do you heal the wounds of trauma? On a couch. With a hug. In intimate worship. Over time. With Love in action.

Build a fire. Like an actual fire. Sit. Talk. Laugh. Cry.

Get rid of all your crap. Clean off your counters. And invite someone over for dinner. Light some candles. And ask the hard questions: what are you struggling with right now? what do you need? can I pray healing prayers straight up to heaven over you?

Once a month. Just do it once a month. Once a month for the rest of your life. And you will get to watch God move in incredible ways.

Church! You ARE the church.

It is not the pastor’s job to do your job. Unless you enjoy watching pastor after pastor burn out.

It is not a missionary’s job to do your job. Unless you enjoy seeing ministry after ministry close. (Did you know that most missionaries spend 1/3 of their time simply asking for funds to survive while they go and do the jobs no one else will? Not ok.)

The Church isn’t missing anything, its missing YOU!

Read that again…

The Church isn’t missing anything, its missing YOU!!

Why Church Matters- Part 1

Today was Sunday, and like so many other Sundays I spent my morning thinking about and preparing for church.

I have been to church almost every Sunday of my life.

Some of the seats I’ve sat in, I’ve loved. Some, not so much.

I’ve been to Catholic services, to liturgical Baptist Churches on the East Coast, to mega churches, famous churches, tiny churches, churches with professional musicians and churches that literally do not believe in instruments being inside a church. I’ve been to church in the middle of a field in a third world country. I’ve been to churches where I am the only white person, and churches were I didn’t even speak the language. I’ve seen pastors speak with so much pride and I have wondered how anyone could follow them. I have seen humble pastors. And I’ve heard testimonies of changed lives beyond what is comprehensible. I’ve seen healthy churches. And I’ve seen unhealthy churches.

But in all those churches…Between all those walls and stained glass murals. Between the notes of the hymns and the smiles of the faithful, you start to get a feeling for what is real and what is ceremony…

And that is the giant wall that faces so many with glaring condemnation: the false gospel.

Oh! We don’t like to call it that. But for every church striving to be the hands and feet of Jesus, there are five ahead of it so introspective that “missions” haven’t changed in two decades and salvations are mere conjecture.

What on earth are we doing? TheĀ point of The Church is to G R O W! The point of church is to live vulnerably in community. The point of church is to change your heart to be more like Jesus while walking through life alongside the Body of Christ.

This is why I love The Church: because Jesus loves The Church. Because the Bible is riddled with story after story of the importance of The Church. I don’t love The Church because it’s “perfect” or because of a type of music or because of a hipster pastor. And I’m well past the notion that church needs to look or feel a certain way.

Church was NEVER meant to fulfill you: God was. Church was NEVER meant to be empty of sin…it was meant to be a Gathering of Souls striving relentlessly toward Holiness, toward furthering the Gospel, toward discipleship.

It takes an immense amount of work to sustain a healthy church. So, if you happen to be part of one…thank your leaders for all the work that goes on behind the scenes.

Why does church matter: honestly, because the Bible says it does.

And because God knows what we need.

Trust him…