WHAT IS CHURCH?
Jeff Goins is one of my favorite writers. No, you won't find his name on the covers of any bestsellers (yet) nor does his byline grace any big city newspapers. But his name does top many, many online articles and blog posts...and many of those have touched me profoundly.
Since returning from Swaziland, my life has been turned upside down. God was already pretty much messing with my mind for several months leading up to last January's trip, but actually going there and seeing what I did, was the tipping point. In some ways I've stabilized a bit, but in other ways, I'm still struggling. I'm struggling with a myriad of issues...such as how do I reconcile my relatively luxurious life with children and widows starving to death in Africa. I also struggle with what is the role of the church here in America? How do we really become the body of Christ here on earth?
Jeff Goins is the writer that God has gifted my life with. He is not afraid to ask hard questions and touch on taboo subjects. He is passionate about God and passionate about church. But like me and so many others, he's starting to wonder if the modern American church on the whole is on the right path.
In some ways, we are. American churches and Americans in general give more money to help the poor in the world than any other people group. In fact, the fellow people of my state, give more money per capita than anyone else on the planet! And we're the poorest state, but also one of the most churched parts of the world.
So obviously, we're doing some things right.
But yet, among many of us, there still lingers dissatisfaction. For some of us, it's just twinges here and there...wonders of "is this all there is". For others, the dissatisfaction has turned to full-blown rejection...sometimes of the institutional church, sadly, sometimes of God Himself.
In Jeff's most recent blog post on the church he says this:
"These days, I'm learning two things about church: 1) that community without going deep is not community worth having, and 2) that church looks different to different people (while still being legitimate, biblical church)."
To read the rest of Jeff's article and others on this issue, go to his website, Pilgrimage of the Heart.