For anybody who has spent any time, blood, sweat or tears trying to do something different with church in western culture, you come to points in frustration. (I suppose that is true in any form of ministry) There are many days and moments of tremendous experiences of the Kingdom of God amongst us in the house church gig, and then there are nights like tonight. Sometimes I wonder why I bother putting myself out there emotionally, spiritually or physically. When the church is not the central issue but rather our self-focused needs to be the center and for "our" needs to be met. I'm trying to figure out which part in a crucified Christ says that church is supposed to be for us and make us feel great? Have we so bitten of the fruit of consumerism that we don't even question our lack of reality? Maybe we should just go with the American dream of giant, mega "successful" churches and never question the systems it takes to turn the cranks? Maybe church is just an event one time a week with catchy slogans and matching children's programs, group meetings for every needy sub-group, slick powerpoint and worship that makes me feel good? Maybe that is why Christ had to walk up Golgota, so that we could feel good about church?
or . . . maybe church doesn't matter how you feel about it? maybe its a discipline that you give yourself to regardless of the turnout or the feelings it gives back? maybe the Gospel is actually not about us but about dying to us? maybe its about becoming a different kind of people, people who are not driven by consumer appetites? maybe our appetites are to be for God and neighbor, and not for self? maybe its not about our needs but about our discipline to obedience?
I've never been a hardcore house church guy, but frankly, when the consumer mentality becomes the reality of our discussions, it just pisses me off. Traditional church folk are often looking for reasons to call us emerging church folk angry, well here is your opportunity, cuz I'm angry. but for my anger, at least I'm honest.
it is my job to extend grace to everyone in the community, and everyone outside the community. at the same time, it is my job to protect the community from danger, and so at this time I have to speak up and defend against selfishness.
In the 5 plus years of our journey in this, i have never felt the degree of anger and frustration that I have right now. and frankly, i don't know what that will lead to . . .
peace to you this night, i don't have much.