In Chapter 10 of his book, Messy Grace, Caleb Kaltenbach says that messy grace will give you a messy church. He goes on to say that he wants us all to have messy chruches. He wants them to be places where there can be healing from sin and life circumstances. Chapter 10 opens with this.
"Think about your church and ask yourself if it's a place where it's OK for people to say things like these:
"I am and addict and I want to know my next step"
"I can't handle my finances"
"I'm struggling with porn"
"I'm not doing well in my marriage"
"I gossip and feel better when I run down people"
"I'm having issues with my kids"
"I'm struggling with my sexuality"
This list could go much farther. Humanity as a whole is bent. We, as Christians within the Church, are trying to recover from this kind of brokeness, at least in theory. I guess my question is, how are we doing?
Can these things be discussed in your church on more than a general, abstract basis? Would people be comfortable with someone confessing their sin or spiritual issues with others in your church or even in front of the entire church? Is your church coming alongside these people to help, minister and support?
As Christ's body, if we are to know each other fully and function as a healthy body, is it not incumbent on us to help each other recover from what we once were, moving forward.? Do we let part of the body die because we do not want to discuss whatever it is?
Believers in search of healing tend to look in other, and possibly wrong places if they do not find it in their church. This is not good. I think we need to be confessing churches that support each other in the full spectrum of struggles that our members endure. There are some things that get a pass at church simply because many people have to deal with it on a daily basis. It is seen as common, what ever it is, and so it gets a pass and most of the time does not get fixed. There is a list of these things that I could name, but I will not. Instead, I will name mine. I tend to be self righteous and prideful. What I find is there are many in church that have this issue. Sometimes we support and uplift each other in our self righteousness and pride rather than seeing it for what it is. We need to get beyond that kind of behavior or we will have a different kind of messy church on our hands - one that is judgmental toward people with life issues and sin issues, that has no sense of compassion for those that are suffering at the hands of our common enemy.
Is your church 'messy'? I hope it's a good kind of messy.