Thursday, February 09, 2006

further comments on the church

It seems like over the past 7 or 8 years I've been at my church, they have expanded their outreach to the poor both in our city and in other nations. They have so many opportunities for individual members to participate in such activities. I've always wanted to go on the Mission Trip to Mexico or elsewhere - doing construction etc. - but while I was married that wasn't an option. Now I definitely think I will sometime soon.

The church bought a million-dollar property to expand its "campus" and expanded its programs. But it seems to me the church has not taught itself how to reach out to individuals in the church, like me. It's one thing to offer programs and it's quite another, more difficult thing to talk to people and reach out to them and show that you care. One of our pastors did more for our family through meetings and prayers than anyone else that I can think of during the marriage itself, but afterwards I almost felt like hands were thrown up. Nobody really knows what happens within a relationship and it's easy to cast judgment and harder to "cast love." But this is what Jesus did for his followers.

For some time I've thought about finding a new church, because I don't like the feel of the big building as much as the old smaller one, and I don't feel particularly bonded to anyone in the church. People are friendly but few are intimate in friendship. I see a lot of what is written about in the Casting Crowns song from the previous entry. However I know their youth group is incredible, and I love the music and occasionally the message often says something meaningful and I want to keep my kids there.

Love, what is love? To be able to genuinely look upon a person and empathize with their pain. And to take personal action based on this knowledge - we all carry pain and some times in life are more painful than others. When someone fails, which a divorce inevitably is, the people involved need love more not less than other times. This love shown by the church (which ultimately just means the believers under the shepherd's guidance) - or not as the case may be - can drive that person to stay on the path or away from it for those whose faith may waver in the difficult times. Many people do throw out the baby with the bathwater and those people holding the flag have the most responsibility for expressing love through action toward the church members. Guy Doud - http://www.guydoud.com - who I heard on Focus on the Family - was a Teacher of the Year award several years back. He speaks of this and is such a powerful speaker and author.

3 comments:

Sus said...

*shiver* Campus....I don't know why but that term when applied to a church just rubs me the wrong way. My mother attends this place, Calvary, and it's absolutely monsterous. There are two large video screens on opposite sides of the altar area....it all just feels so impersonal.

Hope you find someplace you feel at home with.

forgetfulone said...

I also shiver at the word campus as associated with churches. I have found an incredible church home. We do meet in a big facility, but we share it with a Christian school. The congregation is not large though the building is. What I like about this church most of all is that I am not being judged. We also socialize together, our kids play together, and we all realize we are not perfect and we accept each other's differences. I would love to invite you, but I'm all the way out in Clear Lake.

Angela K said...

I wandered here from your article on the ASA website. Reading a bit of your blog and this post, I thought: "emergent." I don't know Houston or these folks, but I wonder if www.ecclesiahouston.org might hold something for you.

Blessings.