The Beauty of the Local Church
Yesterday my friend Jeff Cherry gave some insights regarding celebrity pastors. It was an intriguing article as many, including myself, have various opinions surrounding these idols of Christian culture. (I say idols in a non-worshipping sense.) As I read Jeff’s words regarding the men and women who are placed on pedestals and how often we elevate their teaching I remembered how beautiful the local church is.
Celebrity pastors and mega-churches can be wonderful tools that God uses for his glory and his kingdom. This is a fairly obvious assertion looking at the numbers of people who come to faith because of the ministries of these organizations and individuals. They serve a purpose. When I look to learn from people in ministry it is often these individuals that I gain insight from; they serve as an ideal of a particular form of ministry. But we should not neglect to look at the beauty of the local church.
As I write this I smile because of how much I love the local church. What a beautiful mess the local church is. Groups of people who come together to bring honor and glory to God and who strive to be the church in their local context. If mega-churches and celebrity pastors are the Broadway of church ministry and production then the local church is the school play. I don’t say this as an insult but as a complement.
I love going to see shows with my wife at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle. There is something breathtaking about being in that room with its beautiful architecture and intricate detail. The performances are perfection. It is a unique experience that I enjoy much like when I have the opportunity to visit some of the larger mega-churches around and/or am at an event where an especially gifted communicator shares a message. On the other end I love watching school plays with children. The simplicity of the decor, the eager and excited parents with camcorders waiting to catch their child’s debut, the unpolished and often erratic performances of children who are deathly nervous. The school play is an all around different experience equally unique and equally important. In the local church we may not find the most polished speakers, developed programming, or all-out production but we find the purity of a school play. People eager to be a part of something bigger than themselves, bigger than they even understand. A community of broken, messy people who make mistakes but are willing to risk everything to be a part of a ministry in their community.
There is beauty in the mistakes. My favorite part of ministry is when I get to see one of my students step up to lead in an area new and somewhat foreign to them. A student who is playing in the adult worship services for the first time. If they miss a note what does it matter they are being utilized and serving their church. That is beautiful! Or the youth leader who is given the opportunity to speak in front of teens for the first time: their voice quivers, they message is a little choppy, and they speak fast but the point remains the same. There is beauty in the local church.
Much like the school play the local church shows the beauty of growing, developing, and in some ways unaware people who are given an opportunity to serve God.
- Adam Smith published the blogpost 21 Things You Need To STOP Saying At Work-Julia Winston.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost CRITICAL CONDITION Kindle HDX Giveaway from Richard Mabry!.
- Audra Jennings published the blogpost NIGHTLINE’S Dan Harris’ 10% HAPPIER Kindle HDX Giveaway!.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost The Guys Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket.
- Mike Kim published the blogpost #09: 3 Psychological Weapons of Marketing Influence.
- Jeffrey Totey published the blogpost Movie Producers Donate to Wounded Warriors with Your Help.
- Julio Ribeiro just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Warren Robison just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Gary Weed created a new gallery
- Gary Weed just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Lyn Rossano just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Tina Jagneaux just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Jeremy Riley just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Flashback: How to Stop Victim Mentality and Thinking in Kids and Teens.
- Walter Bright published the blogpost Divine Healing Will Be Fully Realized When Jesus Returns.
- Brandi McElheney just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Blake Atwood published the audio If You Want to be Successful, Stop Being So Accessible | Michael Hyatt.
- John Rutledge published the article New study suggests religion can predict sexual behavior.
- Jeff Reiter just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Candace Andrews just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Blake Atwood uploaded a photo
- Joe Padilla just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Chris Peek published the blogpost Why Simplicity is Necessary to Live in a Story that Matters.
- Blake Atwood published the video 'Theology Questions Everyone Asks' Part II | Gary M. Burge & David Lauber.
- Blake Atwood published the video 'Theology Questions Everyone Asks' | Gary M. Burge & David Lauber.
- Blake Atwood published the video The Counselor: Why Do You Doubt? | Craig Groeschel.
- Ancuta Rusu-Sieng just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Brad Russell shared How to Create and Manage a Blog (Part 1) | Tutorial: NEW BLOGGERS: You can network your blog into the site by clicking Manage My Loft/Blog. Here's a video explaining how to create and manage your blog in FV.
- Dave Jenkins, Jr. created a new gallery
- Brad Russell uploaded a photo
- Dave Jenkins just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Drew DyckMy interview on the Logos blog on how we try to domesticate God. http://blog.vyrso.com/2014/04/23/stop-trying-to-tame-god-rediscovering-dangerous-christianity/
- Blake Atwood published the audio Reimaginining God's Eternal Purpose: Part I | Frank Viola.
- Victor Nunez just moved in. Take time to say hey.
- Lori Fogleman published the blogpost Baylor alum appointed to National Commission on Hunger.
- Dorothy Greco published the blogpost Relevant Magazine: Fear Doesn’t Have to Control Us.
- Lauren Sturdy published the article Fostering Adventures: Veteran Parents Rebuild Lives.
- Blake Atwood shared Getting Your Small Group to Like You: "If people genuinely don’t like you, and you’re a representation of Christ for them, then there’s a great chance you’re acting as a barrier for them to enjoying Jesus. It would be wise for us to not be a barrier. How to you get your small group to like you? Well you can start by taking a shower before group. Then, let’s get to the more important things." — Ben Reed
- Britni Wood published the blogpost IT’S HERE! Get the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle NOW!!!!.