Pew Ponderings {Having a Heart for the Church}


As I type this post, I'm reflecting on the introductory sermon to Bro. Gary's new Sunday night series from Revelation 1-3 titled, "What Does Jesus Think About the Church?"

I've realized in the weeks since I started thinking about this series that I'm a bit defensive when it comes to the church.  I think I've been so disturbed over the last few years by the disdain (and sometimes downright anger) that some professing Christians show toward the church that I struggle with admitting to some of her weaknesses. 

In that, I've done what I so hate to see others do in other areas: I've swung the pendulum much too far the other way (and in that,  become a too-subjective cheerleader.)
I've lost my objectivity and come to see the church through my own eyes rather than Christ's (which is exactly what I would caution others against.)

As I've counted the blessing of godly friends and true church families during this series, I am realizing anew that not everyone has those blessings.  For some that may be because they have shut themselves off from close, transparent, accountable relationships, or because they've succumbed to negative attitudes toward the church in general.

However, I know that there are others who have prayed and sought out diligently a "living and functional" church (as Anne Ortlund describes them) and deep, healthy, intimate friendships, only to find themselves lonely and hurting when those things seem completely out of reach.

Please know that this series doesn't flow out of my having it all together in these areas, being some sort of super-friend (just ask mine...I have a LONG way to go!), or being part of a perfect church. 

Instead, it flows from my having a passionate heart for the church, having been blessed with some pretty incredible super-friends over the years, and having also been blessed to be part of churches which were in no way perfect, but definitely "living and functional" parts of the body of Christ. 

God has given me a deep love for the church.  Not just the church families I've been part of (although they are definitely part of that and I love them dearly!), but the Church as a whole...the Bride of Christ, whom He cherishes. 

My hope and intention as we progress through this series is to share that love with others, and to encourage and challenge each true believer to be a vital part of a living and functional church.  We need to love the church, be encouraged and encourage others in obeying Christ and ensuring that our local bodies are what He wants them to be, and be challenged and challenge others in that pursuit.  

Are you part of a living and functional church body?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments or via the contact widget in the sidebar!  Are you blessed with heart-friends...those iron sharpens iron friends?  Tell me about them! 

Or are you struggling in these areas?  Praying for deep heart friendships, seeking a true Bible-teaching church family?  I'd love to pray for and with you.  Please leave a comment or message me through the contact me form. 

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