Church, Christianity, and How We Got it All Wrong

Every day the church was open, we were there. I poured my heart and soul into serving leaders and helping them carry out what ever vision it was that day. My husband and I, alike. Him as a full time employee, meant we lived, breathed, spoke, dreamt..of our church and where it was headed. How to grow. How to be better. How to make more convenient connections.

My children have the halls and walls of that building memorized. Having spent every evening there and most full days in the summer, they sacrificed any other activity. Or rather, we sacrificed it for them. We felt shame if we thought of chosing a sport or musical over a midweek service. After all, that would let God down to miss. Our entire beings were dedicated so wholly.

Our lives were painting a beautiful picture of organized religious rituals.

And, my God, how we got it all wrong.

We've stopped being involved for some time now. I am so glad we did.

You see. Never once did I say serving Jesus, did I? Because I'm not so sure we were. I asked myself this question many times, as did my husband. Are we doing what Jesus would actually want us to do? We knew the answer yet we still kept on the same.

Sacrificing.

Everything.

I loved Jesus and I said I gave my life to Him. But the same world the church runs from says giving your life to Christ means one thing- dedicating yourself to a church. So I did that.

To serve people. To serve the four walls of a building. To toil and toil and meet and meet and discuss and discuss nothing that mattered or impacted someone's actual life. So why?

For the accolades of people who put themselves as above the rest of us I suppose. To be noticed by someone famous for a chance at stardom disguised with the word ministry I guess. To be needed or wanted by people I guess. Who knows and does it matter? Not really, no.

We no longer live for a church and sometimes do stuff for Jesus.

We now live for Jesus and sometimes do stuff in a church.

You see... this isn't saying church is bad nor saying ministry is bad. But rather, this is saying "full time ministry" as a Christian should be exactly that. It's in the way you live, in the way you work, in the way you prioritize, in the way you do things when no one is looking. Real ministry, real Christianity, isn't something any person on the planet can be paid to do.

This is pointing out the fact that most modern church says "look at me", "write a book", "be a speaker", "do ministry", "live rich", "get famous", have an event or "serve" gathering and call your Christian obligation to do a good deed done for the week. None of these things are bad. But if those things are the only depth to your Christianity, you've got it all wrong.

This is pointing out that you can be the most dedicated, loyal, and reliable person to your current church and still your house crumbles because you were serving walls and people. Not Jesus.

God sees what is unseen. The LAST will be first in the kingdom of heaven.

I'm glad we got it all wrong. I'm so glad. God ripped up the picture we were painting for ourselves. What seemed like God taking everything away at first turned out to be Him painting our picture for us. A picture of Him. Him giving us EVERYTHING. Everything that matters, that is.

How did we get it right? I don't have the answers but I know this -

We don't belong to any church. No memberships, no pledged loyalties, no meetings, no uncalled for expectations.

We have a family in Christ.

A group of other believers.

We have people. From all places, whom attend all different churches or don't at all.

We help people if we're able, if not we help them find it.

We read our Bible and soak it into our souls.

We speak with God and conversate how we can be better and more like Christ was while we're alive.

We don't care about denominations or the smoke and mirrors of fog in a sanctuary.

Our children are living their fullest lives and we're a part of them.

We seek Justice.

We love mercy.

We walk humbly with our God.

In Him we live and move and have our being.

And we're enough.

Sometimes it takes getting it all wrong. I'd give it all up 10 thousand times over again to have a real, full, raw, aware, honest, humble, meaningful, and true life in Christ.

We no longer live for a church and sometimes do stuff for Jesus.

We live for Jesus and sometimes do stuff in a church.