Bob Goff recently joined us and challenged us to think about our faith, our "beliefs" and our love in radically different way. Not radically different as if it were a new thing, but an old thing that we've somehow misplaced along the way - like a pair of socks that fell behind the dryer that we find when we finally clean back there once a decade!
When I first felt like God was calling me to join the team here at OG, there was one specific factor that helped confirmed that decision. OG may not be off-the-charts when it comes do doing church, but it certainly is off-the-charts at being the church: and it is this difference, more than anything, that drew me in.
I've been in a lot of churches in my life; sometimes on staff, sometimes simply as a guest. And while so many of the churches I have witnessed or been a part of have had organization, production, programs and events that would rival the level of excellence seen in some fortune 500 companies, I didn't necessarily feel very welcome there, let alone accepted or even like they cared about me.
I am in no way against excellence in the church, I think we should always strive toward excellence ("be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect" - Matt 5:48). However I think there is a balance between excellence in programming and excellence in serving. They can go hand-in-hand, but often I find that being the church takes a side-seat to doing the stuff of the church.
Think about it this way: if you pay big money for an interior decorator to come in and design your home with the latest trends and colors but you skimp on the structure and foundation of your house, you're going to be in for some real trouble as times goes on!
It's like Bob Goff said today, we can wear the Christian varsity jacket like some badge of honor, like we've got everything figured out, like we're big stuff. But Jesus has always been more interested in the JV squad! These are the ones who are trying to grow and change and become more like Christ.
Doing churchy stuff is fine, it serves a purpose and helps a lot of people connect; but being the church is how we become change-agents in this world partnered with God's Spirit of love for all of this creation.
I wantto encourage you to join me on the JV squad as we continually grow and change to be more like Christ and become the Church God has created us to be in this world.