To rank as the officially scariest phrase to come out of my mouth – probably to date: “Maybe we’re supposed to plant a church.”
Yeah, that was the culmination of the conversation at lunch today following our church service. I won’t officially record what my wife’s response was, but it something akin to, “notsomuchthankyou.”
Truthfully, I don’t know what the future holds, so don’t hold me to that.
The discussion came about because we were discussing church this morning. We have found a church in which we could be content if we had to be. Michael certainly has fit in well with the kids – which is important. We have visited churches where the preschoolers have just been put into glorified playrooms. At this one, there are lessons and crafts, as well as play time. Michael even has verses to memorize.
The main service is finely tuned (save a colossal equipment failure in the video department). We can slip in, listen to a concert / worship service, hear the message simulcasted from the mother church, and slip back out again – picking up Michael halfway across the country – er – campus.
Could I be content? Sure.
Are you sensing a “but” here? (“You’re a butt!” …. Sorry, Lego movie count: 12).
Yeah, I’ve never been good at “content.” Which reminds me of a movie … mostly because everything reminds me of a movie. In The Matrix (1999) Agent Smith is “monologing” with one of the human viruses and says, “Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world? Where none suffered, where everyone would be happy. It was a disaster. No one would accept the program. Entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world. But I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through suffering and misery.”
Perfection is a perfect idea, but it leaves little room for grown. I think of the Pharisees in the Bible. They have a bad reputation, but one has to remember that these were the same guys that Jesus says are the litmus test for righteousness (Matthew 5:20). The problem was that they were trying to be too perfect on their own, which ironically results in pride.
We must remember that in His grace, God loves all His children and knows what they need.
Pride prevents us from coming to God – we keep reverting to “I can do it myself” attitudes. When Jesus is being harsh with the Pharisees, it is because He needs to break that pride.
What does this have to do with finding a church? I don’t want a perfect church. In a perfect church, there’s no room for my imperfection. I want a place where I can grow and be a part of things. As we left our perfectly imperfect church in Ohio, I realized how much I had enjoyed growing and being a part of things. They had room on a worship team for my cello. I was asked to preach – and more importantly was asked to preach again (always good when you don’t tank the first message so badly that no one asks you back).
I don’t know at which point these random thoughts will collide. We have felt most at home in a church plant. We would like to eventually find one again. We would like a place where we can be imperfect and be comfortable, but to still be free to pursue godliness.
And it might be that we just have to make this.