ALL IN! What the life of a pastor should look like in the church.

Over the past few Sundays I have been preaching a sermon series called "We are the Church". So far we have dealt with how people are important to God, how everyone is necessary for the kingdom work God has invited us to, what a community of love looks like and how to loving each other is a result of being intimate with God. It has been a lot of information but it has been necessary as we head into a season of looking at who we are as a church.

One of the truths I spoke on is how we many times say we are going to church; making the church a building or gathering place. I often make this mistake with my kids when we are driving to our gathering times on Sundays. However, I believe this might be adding to an underlying problem that I have suffered with for many years. The problem: we believe that when we have left our gathering times, we have disconnected with the church!. If the church is treated as a building or gathering time, then are we still the church when we are not together?

This leads to other issues like how to weep with those who weep or rejoice with those who rejoice. How do we accomplish this love for one another if we are only going to church? I am chief when it comes to this issue. I tend to need a nap on Sundays, often looking forward to the time where I am away from everyone and comfortable in my sweat pants and t-shirt. I am guilty of using Sunday mornings as my time IN church and not as my time to be with the church. I have been very guilty of looking forward to being with the church for an hour or so, only to retreat after our services looking for a quiet time away. I am not against quiet times away, however, there use to be a time where we had 20 college students in our home every Sunday afternoon. It was as much being with the church as our Sunday morning services. We use to hang out with couples every week, this was as much as being with the Sunday as Sundays were. I didn't have this problem in the past.

So what changed? Well, I believe I changed the way I approach the church. I have become so focused on the prep time of my requirements that I have forgotten it was as much about being with people as it is teaching God's Word to people. God is disturbing me because of this attitude. I can feel the change being made inside me. I once was focused on being a community and had forgotten that is where real discipleship happens while real life happens. I am thankful that God teaches me while I preach.

He is bringing me to a place of being ALL IN! That's when church becomes people instead of a time or place to gather! ALL IN is where we do life together, weeping with those who weep and rejoicing with those who rejoice. ALL IN means we do life before, during and after Sundays! I cannot wait for God to move us here and allow us to be more ALL IN, if that is possible!

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