Thad and I attended a homeschool art and talent show tonight and my little artist, Elli, got to show off 2 watercolor paintings. We met in a local church and we ran in to a few families that we had not seen in ages. It was sweet to hug some necks and catch up. As the conversations took place, the questions began. I tried to change the subject, but the questions continued and I relunctantly gave some answers about why Thad had not pursued a couple of churches in the area that needed pastors. I found myself stumbling over my words as the looks on their faces became more and more confused. One man actually asked when our converts would leave our ministry and join a real church. A real church. That kinda stings-even 2 hours later.
In Your Church Is Too Safe, Mark Buchanan gives words to my internal conflict.
“They have become children of God, invited into the kingdom of God. This is the unspeakable privilege. After that, it’s enough-it’s grace upon grace-to be together, to learn together, to grow together. It’s enough to have good teaching, and deep fellowship, and to share the sacrements. It’s enough to worship alongside each other. It’s enough to know that, should I need anything, someone here will help. That is what every faithful church looks like…When we do this right-when we devote ourselves to these things-vision is a natural consequence: we can’t help but have an impact on the community around us, and then dream ways to do even more.”
Buchanan’s words provide a little balm to my earlier sting.