Monday, 12 April 2010

My ideal church

A thought, after reading Ian Morgan Cron’s book ‘Chasing Francis’ about St Francis of Assissi. This wonderful story has a study guide attached to it with thought provoking questions for each chapter. One of the last questions caught my eye: What would I say if I could stand at the front of the church and speak from the heart about anything I wanted related to its mission?

I want church to be like the evening we had at Martyn and Heather Legg’s – dear, dear friends who invited us for dinner last Friday. I didn’t want to go home. Not that there is anything wrong with home, it was just so wonderful to be all together.

I want church to be like that evening.

So warm and welcoming that, when I walk in, I am greeted with loving smiles and words which tell me: I am glad to see you here. You’ve made my day.

So warm and welcoming that, when people come here, they don’t want to go home because they feel total love and acceptance, so comfortable that there is no tension in them whatsoever. A sanctuary.

There will be no place for ignorance of individuals: people who don’t know my name or, if they do, don’t care to use it. There will be no place for folk to walk past me as if I am invisible or, worse, unworthy of recognition.

I don’t want church like that just for me. I want church like that so I can safely bring my friends into a company of friends with Jesus.

How do we get church like this? By being so loved by Jesus that we are filled with happiness and contentment. It’s contagious.

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