I had a wonderful Sunday this weekend just gone.
My local Church is Hillsong in Cental London, but it isn’t the only church or the only Hillsong campus within travelling distance for me. Is it the one I attend and the one that I love and the one I call home. It has been for the last four years and will be for a while.
One of my friends, dear and amazing that he is, attends the Hillsong Kent campus and they had the Watoto Children’s choir this weekend. I’m a little late in the game here and I had never seen these little wonders perform before so I went at my friend’s request, saw, teared up a little, shopped and rounded up my day with a good old fashion pub meal in the sun. Fish and chips because I couldn’t find the option for a Sunday Roast.
It was a fabulous Sunday. And it usually is because to me Sunday is the first day of the week and on Sundays, we go to church. To put it in plain text: we start our week with God.
Over Sunday lunch, my friend and I talked about a variety of topics: from home to church, from relationships to serving, from habits to pet-peeves. Like attracts like and we chatted for a while about many things we agree and disagree on; things close to our hearts.
One of these topics is Church and how we relate to Church.
For many people, Church is just a building. A place where the so-called righteous and religious congregate to pat each other on the back for another prayer well done, whilst they look down their noses on the rest of humanity.
Being a Christian isn’t much different from being a parent, often having good intentions but mostly being misunderstood. Years later, kids will learn that their parents were looking out for their wellbeing. Our hope as Christians is that years later, the seeds that we tried to plant will bear good fruit. That is what a mature Christian is all about, planting seeds that will flourish for the Glory of God.
The problem we have is that mature Christians seem to be a rare species, usually talked about but only occasionally seen. It’s so easy to hide our faith in the world we live in now. We blend in with everyone else and keep from having deep conversations that would give us away in a misguided attempt to stay politically correct and not offend anyone’s feelings.
But we forget what this is all about. We forget ourselves and our reason for being.
I’ll put it nicely, this life isn’t about you, sweetheart.
Our generation is known as the Selfie Generation, the most Narcissistic age yet. It’s a little disconcerting but it’s true, to an extent. We do love our pretty photos, and looking sexy and hearing people compliment us. We walk into a room expecting accolades and praise. We spend time and money searching for the next thing that are going to make us the best, the most beautiful, the most successful and if it doesn’t work for our own gain, then it’s broken.
Jesus has to, has to, has to be the focus in our lives.
You will get more out of life when you stop focusing on what others can give you and start giving others the time of day. God didn’t give you life so that you can strut around for a handful of decades and hopefully bless the rest of the world with your wholesome, peacock presence. No, God created you for His pleasure and His Glory and the best way to honour this gift of life is by making the most of what and who you are by giving instead of taking. You are a child of God and God only gives good gifts. Give.
You are not a breathing, walking, talking accident. You were put on this earth to live a life that makes a difference for generations to come because the message you’re bringing isn’t a passing trend, it isn’t a recycled fashion statement, it isn’t even a unique talent. The message your life brings is Jesus, His Holy Goodness and His Fearless Love.
So if you’re telling me that you don’t like this church or that church because they don’t have enough grace or too much grace, is full of young people or full of old people, they’re too quiet or too loud, they call you or they don’t even know you exist. I can only say to you one thing, the Church is a community of imperfect people, in all walks of life and faith, living their lives for the one and only perfect God. You can join us or not, but you can’t change us to fit your sensitivities because we won’t let you put God in a box.
We are teardrops in the ocean. Collectively we are seen as a deluge of water, causing a ripple effect in all we do. Alone, we’re probably not seen at all. The beauty of it is that whether you’re alone or in the crowd, Jesus knows you’re there and that makes it all the sweeter in its victory.
What is Church? It’s many things to many people, but to me, it’s where you can come home and share life with people that love God in their best possible way.