My dear friends.
Christ’s Church is so beautiful.
And I would say that it’s just as beautiful today as ever before.
I see His church in big auditoriums, with bright lights and loud music and great amounts of people.
I see His church in houses, gathered and sitting on a living room floor, laying hands and praying for one another.
I see His church in small, quaint, old buildings with pews and the pastor in front of stained glass windows.
It’s so beautifully diverse.
And our God has intentionally designed His church to be diverse.
I think so often we think that there has to be one “way” to do church.
One type of preaching. One type of music. One type of evangelism. One type of youth group. One type of camp. One type of planning. One type of fundraiser. One type of discipleship. One type of mission trip.
And if a church doesn’t have that same “type “ as we stand firm in, my friends, we cast our eyes down and close our hearts to them.
Dear sister, this is absolutely breaking the Father’s heart.
There is no one type of church, yet we are all one Church.
Our God is a God of creativity and order.
A God of new and of old.
A God of spontaneity and logistics.
A God of crowds and small gatherings.
A God of the mission and of the vision.
My friend, diversity is not a result of sin.
Diversity is something that God has so meaningfully and so intrinsically designed into His beautiful bride. It’s good. My friend, diversity is good.
The Church has our thumbprints and God’s heartbeat.
God keeps the Church alive and steady; He is the heartbeat.
Yet He has designed it so we can have dreams and create ministries and go place and do things…. All for the sake of the beautiful Gospel. The church has our thumbprints.
Dear friend…. Please. Please never get wrapped up into the thinking that there is one way to worship Jesus.
Please never get wrapped up into the thinking that there is one way to share the Gospel.
Please never get wrapped up into the thinking that there is only one way that the Church can be the Church.
It’s breaking the Father’s heart.
And it should be breaking ours, too.
Church is not of plan.
Church is an art.
Church is an art.
It’s an expression of the Gospel.
It’s an expression of our adoration of sweet, sweet Jesus.
It’s an expression of our passionate love for our brothers and sisters.
It’s an expression of our new life.. saved and redeemed.
It’s an expression of redemption. Of grace. Of courage. Of humility. Of sacrifice.
Each church may express their love for sweet Jesus differently, but each church is still grounded on the Gospel.
Different visions, same mission.
Different expressions, same Gospel.
And how dare we criticize the expression that our mighty God has freely gifted to us.
The Church is Christ’s bride.
And Christ adores His beautiful bride.
There are so many sides to His bride.
There’s a side that is loves lots of people and loud music and lots of passion.
There’s a side that cherishes the comfort of home, deep relationships and small gatherings of close people.
There’s a side that honors tradition and rich history and significance of the church.
His bride has a side that’s new and exciting and innovative. His bride has a side that loves people in different countries. His bride has a side that is deeply rooted in small towns. His bride has a side that loves neighborhood outreach. A side that loves big events and a side that loves the low-key Sunday mornings. A side that loves hymns, a side that loves dancing.
Christ adores His beautiful bride.
She’s unique and exquisite and brilliant and diverse.
And She was designed to be that way.
Church is not of plan.
Church is an art.
There’s no one way to share to the Gospel.
That’s the beauty of it.
It’s more than a mininstry; more than we could ever think or plan or train or prepare for.
The Son of God rising from the DEAD, breaking the power of our very sin and shattering death itself, and Him doing it all to save our souls which He so dearly loves is something quite extraordinary.
It’s shared by passion. By spontaneity. By the deepest part of the heart. By the Spirit’s prompting.
It’s expressed like art.
It’s our thumbprint but God’s heartbeat.
God is using video sermons to share the Gospel.
God is using small groups to share the Gospel.
God is using amphitheater events to share the Gospel.
God is using hand out Bibles to share the Gospel.
God is using the comfort of homes to share the Gospel.
God is using traditions to share the Gospel.
God’s presence is inside the auditorium with thousands of people.
God’s presence is in the living room with the close community.
God’s presence is in the old building, lined with pews and stained glass.
God loves hymns. God loves slow, intimate songs. God loves upbeat, energizing music. God loves when we dance for Him. God loves when we pray on our knees. God loves when we hug each other. God loves when we shake hands with each other. God loves when the pastor preaches and the audience shouts, “Amen.” God loves it when the audience is engaged yet silent, storing up words in their hearts. God loves when we dress in our Sunday best, for it’s a special occasion. God loves when we feel comfortable enough to dress casually.
It’s not a matter of which ones He is most pleased with.
It’s a matter of love.
God loves His bride. He loves the diversity of His bride.
Glory is glory.
No matter the expression.
I think it’s absolutely wonderful that God, in His might and sovereignty and creation, gives us the freedom of creativity. The freedom of expression. The freedom of passion. The freedom of diversity. The freedom of freedom.
It’s His heartbeat. And our thumbprint.
My friend, Christ loves His bride.
Christ adores His church.
And our upmost desire should be to love what He loves.
If my sweet Jesus adores His church, then you better believe that I adore it, too.
Every side of Her.
Every brilliant difference.
All of the glory.
Share the Gospel through the vision God has given you.
Share the Gospel through the passions God has put in you.
And may it flow from the freedom of expression that is so intentional by our Creator, that is so adored by our sweet Jesus.
With much, much love. And a deep adoration of His beautiful Church. –Melissa
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