We’ve Got To Do Better: Making Ministry the Heart of Church

I am not among those who have given up on the local church.

But I AM critical of the way we in the U.S. –and especially the Southern U.S. -do church.

Let’s be honest. 

Most of us go to church because it makes us feel good, refuels our spirits for the week ahead and is a safe spot to park our kids for a few hours respite from the demands of parenthood.

An added bonus is that sometimes we get to contribute to a cause, a mission or a personal need without having to get TOO involved.

So we come away feeling pretty good about who we are, what we believe and how much we “sacrifice” for others and the Kingdom.

But this is not what Christ came for folks.

He didn’t come so that we can have a weekly club meeting, soothe our souls and shut out the world.  He came so that desperate hearts on the fringe could draw near.

He rent the veil so that no one who trusts His finished work is excluded.

Not even the messy and imperfect.

Not even the poor or unlovely or slightly crazy.

We have got to do better.

We have got to make church a place where people who have no hope feel like they are welcome.  We have got to reach out and reach down and reach across and pull those hurting hearts inside.

I know (believe, me, I know!) that it takes more energy than you want to exert.  It takes more flexibility than a crammed-full schedule can allow.  It takes more time and more emotional investment than any of us really want to spend.

But this is what Christ came for.

He came to expose the barriers religious people had erected between God and man. 

He came to make a way where there was no way.

How welcome are the truly broken to our house of worship? Do we want to see their pain, entertain their questions and offer hope that includes walking the road alongside them and giving support for the long haul?

Jesus came to heal the broken.

Healing takes time and resources. It requires personal commitment to those God brings into our lives. It is messy and can’t be boiled down to a formula or pamphlet.

Jesus has invited is to be His hands and feet.

Will we accept the invitation?

christ has no body but yours teresa of avila

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

4 thoughts on “We’ve Got To Do Better: Making Ministry the Heart of Church”

  1. Good points. I haven’t given up on my church either although some days are harder than others while singing in the choir. It’s the only place I truly feel at peace. The comfort of worshipping God in all His glory and splendor and knowing he’s carrying me thru this helps emensely. This past Sunday was particularly difficult as it was exactly one year since our daughter entered Eternity. What made it all the more difficult was the opening hymn, Amazing Grace. On our daughter’s marker are the words…”I once was lost but now I’m found”. It wasn’t until later that day that I found comfort in those words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My heart is more or less able to sit through a given Sunday. I’m so sorry that you had an especially hard one. Milestone days are difficult in any setting, but church (oddly) can be the hardest. It may be because it’s there that we come face to face with both our sorrow and our greatest comfort and the mixture is utterly overwhelming. I love what you have on your daughter’s stone. May the Lord continue to give you what you need each day to endure. ❤

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  2. Yes it can be messy can’t it? Life is messy and sometimes it’s hard for us to do, as we know don’t we? I am so grateful for the help and support I have received when I have been “the mess.” I hope I can be there for others messy as they have been for me….I truly want to be.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You will be. I can tell by your comments that your heart is turned toward letting God use you in the lives of others. May He give you every needful thing to endure and also the grace and mercy to reach out, when it’s time. ❤

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