Maybe We Need A Watered-down Church?

I don’t drink much water.  Not plain water anyway.  Plenty of coffee and soda and other beverages made from water, but not pure water.

Why?

Water is good and good for you.

Water is life.

Water is refreshing and cleansing and healthy.

Most of the planet is covered in water.  Most of our bodies are made of water.

Water is essential and yet I don’t drink much of it.

Must be the cost, right?  Nope.

Must be hard to get?  Wrong.

Must be socially unacceptable or attached to some stigma or associated with some radical ideology?  None of these.

In fact, I know how great water is for me.  I know there’s nothing like it to quench a thirst, clean what needs cleaning, heal what needs healing.

I don’t drink much plain water because it’s…plain.  No fizzy bubbles.  No flashy color.  No real flavor (unless you get some of that sulfur infused stuff and that’s not really plain water anyway).

Now hang with me a sec.

Too many of our churches are struggling with a water problem.

I believe the Church is God’s plan for the salvation of the world.  It is primarily through the Church that God acts and moves and transforms.  The Church as the bride of Christ.  The Church as the body of Christ.  The Church as a community invited to come and see and go and do.

But for all that, many local expressions of the Church are flavorless, fizzless, flat.

Like water, when we are at our best, churches are made of people and places where healing and cleansing and satisfaction can be found.  Churches are movements where the spiritually thirsty find their thirst quenched.  Where those who hunger are filled.  Where the lost are found and the found are sent.

What to do?

Jazz up the Church?  Make it more exciting?  More carbonated?

Insist on the goodness of the plainness of the Church?  No need to mess with things.  The folks who know what’s good for them will make the right choice.

But I’m concerned with that last bit.  I know water is good for me and it is almost always my last choice.  Maybe the analogy breaks down here?  Do folks “know” the Church is good for them?  Even if they do, I’m not sure I’d be willing to make the same claim about many little “c” churches.

Here I believe is my answer.

Let’s become churches less concerned with our corner of our kingdom and more with participating in God’s building of God’s Kingdom.  Let’s be the Church.

  • Let’s stop insisting people need to believe the right things and say the right things and do the right things before we accept them into our communities.
  • Let’s stop looking for ways to make fun of each other.
  • Let’s stop promoting our buildings/houses/storefronts/street corners/et.c as anything more than tools to help us do the work of connecting people to Jesus.
  • Let’s stop arguing with each other as if we were enemies.
  • Let’s start praying for one another regardless of which tribe we belong to.
  • Let’s start talking and listening to one another for support and encouragement and correction (always done in love) when needed.
  • Let’s find how our strengths can be combined to make us stronger and more effective.
  • Let’s see the challenges before us as shared opportunities.

I’m not sure a church doing these things is any more “flavorful” or “colorful”, but it seems to me to be more faithful and more biblical and more Spiritual. And better for you to boot.

I’ll settle for that.  Are you with me?

Life is better together,
Shawn

Too many people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water (even less have access to a toilet).  We can change that.  Visit Water.org to learn more.

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