We’ve had our fair share of struggles with the institution of “the church.” Especially the unique challenges that come with a “mega church” (still weird to say!) that has experienced rapid growth in attendance, but not necessarily membership. When everyone starting calling Donald Miller out for his blog post about his frustrations with the institutional church, we saw a lot of where he was coming from.
Then I read this by Shauna Niequist: “She’s not a Megachurch. She’s my Sister’ and thought – yes. Yes, this is the way I feel about our church.
You see, this church is much more than a building. It is more than the size of weekly attendance. It is more than their celebrity status. It is much more than something we do on Sundays. Its identity cannot be found in those things because it is much, much more.
It is the people we call at midnight on a Saturday because we can’t go back to our own home.
It is the weekly dinners, the confessions, the griefs, the joys, the marriages, the babies.
It is the “band of brothers,” the community that the rest of the world longs for.
It is the pastors that take your call late at night because they care about you.
It is an extended family — the kind with all its quirks, all of its heartbreaks, yet wrapped up in a commitment to be “for you,” no matter how much that hurts.
We have been pretty banged up in this season, but it has been an opportunity for the Lord to show us how well this Church that the he has granted us, this family, loves us…and how much we love them. They are not perfect — no family is. But they have sacrificed time and spoken words of life into our weary family. We have felt more and more like sojourners on this road of life, but we know that we have fellow travelers alongside us…yearning for our true home.