It's been a pretty wild week for me. I had to navigate through some difficult conversations with people who have significant challenges in their lives. I saw others who had been faithfully following Jesus walk away from Him out of great disappointment. Then there were exchanges with others who feel they've been hurt by the church and don't want anything to do with one again. Sometimes it's that way in the week of a pastor...
Amid so much cultural tension and turmoil surrounding the church, I still love it. Maybe the church, as we know it today, isn't what Jesus had in mind at all... Maybe it's missed the mark and focused on the least important things. Maybe it cares more about programs than people, more about business than generosity, more about buildings than lost people. Maybe the church of today is about consumerism instead of servanthood. The mass exodus from the church hasn't led to something better - it has led to nothing, not just abandoning the church, but Jesus.
I love our church. I love Mountainview Christian Church. I love the people, you. I love what God is doing with our church. I love the way our church is having an impact in the lives of people, both in our community and across the globe. I love the way lives are being changed.
It's not enough for us to believe and share the right things. Our hearts must be captured completely by King Jesus, the beauty of the Gospel, and the power of our relationship with God.
The purpose of the church is to conform to Jesus. My primary role at Mountainview is to help us ALL conform to Jesus. I share Paul's feelings when he wrote to the Galatian Christians...
...my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth...
until Christ is formed in you!
Galatians 4:19 ESV
The way of Jesus is a cross-carrying life. Those who belong to Jesus are required to take up His cross. This is "Christoformity", and it means we are doing our best to live a life surrendered to Jesus for the sake of His Kingdom and other people.
My calling in life is to help us mature in the likeness of Jesus. This stands in complete defiance to the culture of achievement, success, privilege, power, and money we are used to.
The work we have ahead of us is difficult and challenging. Let's stop creating our own barriers that keep us from being everything Jesus wants us to be.
This week we will be in Ephesians 4, where Paul addressed some of this with the church. I hope you can be with us online or in person at 9:00 or 10:40.
Grace & Peace,