Tag Archives: the Church

Throwback Sundays…Just a Building

My grandpa passed away four years ago and I smiled when I read the last line of his letter: “The church building itself is the structure that we worship and glorify God in. The real church is the people.”

And I’m smiling today re-reading that. You can read the rest of the post for the story behind the letter here.

The Twenty #3 – Why church is Relevant for Me

I used to work at a church where “relevant” was tossed around like a baseball. It was one of three words that closed out our mission statement. But, I’ll be honest, these days I cringe a little bit inside when I hear the words “relevant” and “church” in the same sentence.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think church should be relevant. But, I’m not sure it should be a primary focus. I think the climb up the mountain of “relevancy” can be a slippery slope.

I believe that the concept of “church” will always be relevant because God designed us to live and love and learn in community…in the church. However, that may not always be the case with the institution or organization of the local church. For me, the local church is only relevant if it’s a representation of the Church.

These days, church is more than just a place I go to on Sunday mornings. And that’s what makes it relevant for me. It is family. It is support. It is accountability. It is love. It is compassion. It is encouragement. It is being challenged. It is brokenness and grace in action. It is rest. It’s gathering together with people whose hearts are knit together in some way to worship the One who created them all. It is the Church in action. And that makes it “relevant.”

Is church “relevant” for you? Why or why not?

The Twenty – #2: The Best Community of People I Know

When I left my church, I didn’t know for sure where I was going to end up. Or at the very least was too afraid to admit that I did know but Nashville just seemed like too crazy of an option. But, deep down I did know. I knew Nashville was right because one of the things I felt God challenging me with was truly living in community and it seemed

Now I know I talk a lot about relationships. I write about them. I tweet about them. Etc. But, if I’m honest, relationships don’t always come naturally to me because I have an ongoing fight with trust. And community requires trust. If left to my own devices, though, I’ll often keep relationships and community surface level which doesn’t require a whole lot of trust on my part.

But, after my second visit to Nashville last April, something struck me about the community here…at least the community God surrounded me with during that visit…I couldn’t hide. It hit me as I was driving back to Wisconsin that I had told my story more times in those five days, and to strangers nonetheless, than I had in years. And I think at that moment I knew Nashville was exactly where God was going to drop me even if I was too afraid to acknowledge it. It was a place where I wouldn’t be able to hide.

The best community is honestly the people I get to do life with in Nashville. It’s as small as a few close friends and as big as the church I attend. It’s the people I serve alongside on Monday nights with People Loving Nashville and the homeless people we serve. It’s the people in my Village (a.k.a. small group). It’s Journey. And it’s my friends here who don’t fall into any of those.

They are people who I can laugh with, cry with, rest with, worship with, vent to, be silent with, dream with, pray with, work with, be challenged by, and serve with. It is a community that I believe with my whole heart is the reason God brought me to Nashville. It is a community that I get incredibly excited about when I think of how God has used them and will continue to use them for His Kingdom.

It’s people with some of the biggest, most compassionate and servant filled hearts I know. It’s people with some of the craziest God-sized dreams I know. They each have a different story, yet there are common threads that tie all of our stories together. It’s a community I don’t believe happened by chance. It’s a community…it’s people…for whom I am deeply grateful…I believe that God has written each of them into my story for a reason. And it’s the closest thing I’ve experienced to what I believe in my heart is the Church.

What’s the best community of people you know?

This is the second post in a series of twenty. For more on the background, check out this post.