Messy Church

2012-11-30-Sun-Country-524x248First was Purpose Driven Church.

Later came Word and Power Church, and Total Church.

Still later, Simple Church.

More recently there was Church Zero.

I have read them all.

All are worth reading.

But none really apply to my church.

I think I will write a book based on my congregation titled Really Messy Church. (There is already a book called Messy Church. I haven’t read it, but I have ordered it for my Kindle.)

If you are looking for a church where everything is done with the excellence of a Broadway production, well, my church is not what you are looking for. You never know what may happen, or who may show up, on a typical Sunday morning.

It’s messy.

People in my church have more baggage then the lost luggage department at Delta Airlines.

We have recovering alcoholics and drug addicts (including prescription drugs).

People in my church struggle with family issues, divorce issues, custody issues, legal issues, financial issues, relationship issues, employment issues, etc, etc, etc.

Not everyone in my church is living a completely moral life.

Some people in my church come out of fundamental, legalistic religious environments.

Others have no church background.

Some people in my church are homeless. Others are “couch surfing.” Many live in government housing.

443476183_640Yesterday we had about 12 kids of various ages who had never been to church before…and you could tell. In fact, at times our children’s ministry is chaotic.

If you are easily distracted, or annoyed by children (and sometimes adults) who have a difficult time sitting still during worship, my church may not be for you.

Recently, a family involved in a custody battle, asked my wife if we would adopt their 17 year old niece. (Several months earlier, I buried this girls mom.)

My church has more ex-cons than elders and more former drug dealers (and users) than deacons.

Not long ago, immediately after church, I had to get involved in a domestic dispute where the wife tried to stab the husband.

I visit the local jail more than the local hospital.

And then there is me

…the pastor

…the “chief of all sinners.”

My church is messy.

My church is beautiful.

I would not want it any other way.

We regularly see miracles

…and life change

…and God moments

…and reconciliation

…and grace

…and forgiveness…

…and restorations.

photo-291If you are looking for something neat and tidy and where you can get all the answers to all your problems in 30 minutes or less, I can direct you to some wonderful churches.

But if your life is a mess and you want to worship with others who share your messiness, than join us one Sunday. You will fit right in.

It’s not pretty

…but it is beautiful.

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