I just read a quote from this blog that said something to the effect, "If your church closed down tomorrow would your community care...?"
I don't really care what my community would think.
How dare I say that... I am treading in sacrosanct territory here for some people.
I don't care what you think about our church sign, our church's mission statement, the color of our pews, the fact we have pews, that we're a small church, that some Sundays all we have is a guy leading with an acoustic guitar. That sometimes our projector isn't working. I don't care what you think about our church's logo, whether there are ugly people or beautiful people that go here, what you think about my pastor's message or his delivery. Whether you think we are unusual and "Charis-maniacs". I don't care what you think about our church.
I don't really kind-of care if the "World" (you know, non-Christians) think my building is cool, or our programs are relevant, Or that we don't really have programs... or if they think I'm an intellectual midget, or if the people in my church are unusual and make them feel uneasy. We are unusual. And weird.
The reality is we have a reputation out there that we can't control anyway. Sinners gossip to one another and spread half-truths and lies, and un-informed information. Or they spread the actual truth about us. It may not be flattering. But it's true. We're sinners too in the process of redemption and sanctification. If you want to keep me in that box that's your problem. God's sanctifying us that's all I care about.
I don't care if people know that I am reformed in some regards and free-will in others. I don't really care if you know that I am intrigued by Obama. That I shop at Wal-mart and eat bacon. I don't despise Joel Osteen. Or Todd Bentley. Or John Piper. Or hardly anyone else any more. Who cares?
I also like the New Living Translation.
I used to think all that stuff was so important. I worried so much about how others saw me and what they thought.
And you know what? Now that I don't care and invest all my emotional energy into it, I'm free. It's all going to burn someday. Only a few things will remain. Faith, Hope and Love. If I trust in that, and find my satisfaction in God, everything else will work itself out.
When I left pastoring I thought I failed in a lot of these regards. That we were doomed cause we didn't finish up the logo.
And you know what? People are still coming. Broken people who don't care as well. And they are great and wonderful and sent by God. He is re-building it and I'm sitting on the side-lines watching with wonder. It's awesome.