Yeah! Someone responded with a comment on yesterdays post! I hope it's a trend!
I realized that I didn't write a learned "lesson" for my post below. I guess the lesson is what I said in the closing sentence: to be honest. We need to admit our failure. That's one of the reasons for addressing this topic in the blog. I don't want people to think that the current church is the best we can do. Even at Cedarbrook, as hard as we work at addressing the weaknesses of church, we are FAR from being what church should be. We are still in the process of laying our foundation.
At Cedarbrook, we are very much in the "me" stage of faith. That's not a bad thing because we are in process. Cedarbrook has attracted a lot of people either new to faith or coming back from having rejected the church. In general, people are reconnecting with God on a personal level. They aren't at the stage yet of thinking corporately or wanting to impact the community as a whole. That's where my heart is and that's where I want to take us, but I have to let people go through the process. Even as our mission statement says...we need to FIRST EXPERIENCE, THEN share, the life-changing love of God. We are in the experiencing mode right now.
My point is that "doing" church in the 21st century in a way that does justice to God and his call is no easy task. It's easy to do what others have done or what is easiest. But our call is to live a lifestyle that reflects God's character and kingdom in the middle of people that are fixated on their own wants and desires. How to do that without being sucked into their web or coming across as narrow minded bigots is a tall task.
So, again, the lesson? Let's continually admit our failure. Let's not try and kid anyone that "we've arrived" - that church is everything God wants it to be and you should love it if you love God. No, we are in process. The church is not always loveable. We fall short but we have a picture in our mind of what it should be and it is to THAT end that we are striving. If you choose to join us, we want - we need your input. YOUR contribution is vital to our success. Please DON'T check your brain at the door and just agree with everything we do and say. God is creative by nature and he is continually creating new things in us as we work together to bring his kingdom on earth.
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