Church seems tough enough as it is, why make it harder?

Here are a couple of thoughts I’ve had running around in my head these past couple of months.  We (the Church) have made the steps for choosing Christ and the Church way to stinking hard. Through our best efforts in assimilation and first impressions we have complicated ones realization of their desire for God.

We forget that God created us internally to want a relationship with Him. Why then have we (the Church) made it a process of hoop jumping for persons to choose and following Jesus in the context of the Church? Every time I turn around someone wants to make the process more complicated than it needs to be.

I was reading through some old notes when I came across these. As you read them think about what this means as you look at helping someone take a step toward Christ.

“Our human yearning for love and belonging is to be fulfilled through God’s, “new community” which along will last forever. The church is not a place for people to gather occasionally for religious services. It is not one more social institution among many others. The church is God’s dream for the most cherished creation.” John Ortberg

And then there is this from Gilbert Bilezikian in his book, “Community 101” which by the way will rock your world.

“Each one of us hides and awful secret.” Gilbert Bilezikian

That secret is the longing for the closeness that was rightfully ours through creation, yet lost through our rebellion toward God.

As you may know I’ve been tossing around this idea of a Spiritual Growth Community these past couple of years. In fact, it stems back some 10 years, a few ideas on spiritual formations, pathways, next steps and ended up being the “grow to go matrix” by 2009 while I was in Florida.

Through that process of honing in on spiritual next steps, thinking through basic spiritual disciplines, etc… it has come to mind that every time I think I am getting close to having something that may truly be helpful for persons handcrafting a spiritual next step it feels like us “church folks” want to complicate it by putting linear guardrails, controls, and limitations around God’s creativity. Where does that mesh with “God’s dream for the most cherished creation”?

Just another reminder for me that God created us to desire him, we have a secret longing for Him, and as leaders in the church it is our responsibility to provide handcrafted spiritual next steps for persons that meet them where they are…. not where we think they should be. And definitely not within the constraints of our finite minds.

Note to self – Don’t make it so stink’n hard for people to take a step toward Christ and the Church. We want those furtherest from the cross to meet their Creator and fill that awful secret that hides inside.

Just a Thought!

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