On Sunday I shared a sermon out of Psalm 51, comparing King David’s illicit affair with Bathsheba to my illicit affair with perfectionism. I began wondering, “how does this impact my search for community?”
I, along with many young adults, struggle with wanting to “stick it” to the proverbial man and with wanting to not be a part of “the system.” I am quick to support a cause, but just as quick to be skeptical of any institution.
I am an idealist.
I want everything to look exactly how I believe it could look. When I don’t think that is possible, I want to give up trying. I want things to move to my idealized state as quickly as possible.
This is true for the Body of Christ too. I read the stories in Acts about the New Testament church and am in awe. They shared everything they had. They were meeting together daily. Their worship was powerful. The teaching was incredible. This sounds like committed community… like a church I would want to be a part of.
It sounds AMAZING. It sounds like the perfect state for the perfect community. When looking from that perspective, it is easy to become discontent with the church today.
Why don’t we SHARE more? Why don’t we put a greater priority on RELATIONSHIP?
The beauty is that is not all of what the Bible says about the New Testament church. The Bible presents the New Testaments churches' faults too.
In the New Testament church, there was gossip (2 Timothy 2:16).
In the New Testament church there was false teaching that had to be confronted (Galatians 5:7-12).
In the New Testament church there was betrayal (Mark 14:10-21).
So how did the New Testament church have such an incredible impact on the world?
…In the middle of their imperfection, they pursued the heart of God.
We are the Church. You and I are the church. Yet, we are imperfect, therefore the Church is imperfect.
It is tempting for us to pursue the “perfect church” with the “perfect worship” and the “perfect sermon,” but that will ALWAYS leave us discontent, because that means we are apart of it and we are imperfect.
It’s not about going to the “perfect church,” but instead being the church in the middle of our imperfection.
There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of excellence, but often our response when our expectations are not met.
When it comes to church, it is very easy for me to be a skeptic, but being a skeptic requires almost no maturity and produces very little growth.
It is easy to point fingers, but much more difficult for me to recognize the role I play.
The only way we will experience community, is if we show up – not just at church, but also in people’s lives. The first step to finding community is being present.
The only way people who are the church will SHARE what they have is if individuals act as catalysts and GIVE to those in need.
The only way the Sunday experience will become more refined, is when people step up and say, “here I am, send me,” (Isaiah 6:8).
It begins with you and I saying, “I heard you got laid off, can I pay for a week of groceries?” or, “I heard you are moving, if you need help, I’m available.”
I could easily be a critic, we all have opinions, but few will pursue maturity. Few will take radical steps to pursue intimate relationship with those around them.
- Pastor Brandon