You know how it is, you're standing in front of the congregation preaching away and you hear yourself saying something that stops you in your tracks. You keep going of course because it's usually important to do that given that there are people waiting to hear what's coming next! But in the back of your mind and somewhere deep in your heart and soul you've heard God speak something into your life.
In my experience this doesn't happen every Sunday, but it did this last Sunday.
We were exploring our third big theme: The community. We thought about how we understood community and how we could relate better to our wider community I talked about becoming part of the DNA of the community. I talked about how a cell is defined by the DNA it contains and that our communities are defined by their DNA. If the church is at the heart of the community then the com unity should be different because of it. And then I said it, a little phrase that God used to penetrate deep into my soul.
The community deserves a better church.
Now this is in no way a criticism of my church. I think we're on the right track, I think we're holding on to a dream and vision that God has given to us that is deeply rooted in this idea of being the DNA of our community. But the world deserves our best shot. The world deserves the church being the best that it can be at being the family of God. I don't want to settle for anything less.
I haven't figured out what it means yet, but I know deep down inside of me that God has something profound to say. Church can no longer be mediocre and irrelevant, the world deserves better than that.
As I spoke those words on Sunday I felt the emotion rise within me, I felt as if I'd touched the heart of God and shared, for a moment, his passion for the missing members of his family in a way I've not felt it before. Call them lost, call them missing, call them unchurched, it doesn't really matter, Jesus misses them and they deserve a church that points them back home and shows them what it means to be reconected with God.