By the grace of God, we have had non-stop testimonies every week since the beginning of June. And it looks like we will have continuous testimonies for the month of July as well. As we witness many next steps from our members, I felt the need to highlight that church is not a place for the well-put-together people, but for struggling people. (Mark 2:17) We are all struggling in some areas. It is just that some are more visible to people than others.
Healthy church is not necessarily where everyone looks healthy, but where people feel safe to fail. If we are not careful, we can condemn people with good values we hold on to. While we must do all that we can to protect and increase missional culture, we also have to face the fact that not everyone will have vibrant faith, and there will always be struggling members and house churches.
As we continue to challenge people to take the next step, we also need to remember that weakness is not sin and struggling is not sin. Judging them is. As someone said, “When we start judging, we stop leading”. We cannot lead whom we judge. Our response to people’s mistake is the measure of our love. Nothing shows more clearly about the nature of our love than our response to people’s failures and mistakes.
Our job is to help people remain in the umbrella of grace as long as possible. That could be ministry, close relationship, house church, or Sunday worship. If we can help people remain in even one of them long enough, then God’s grace will one day move them to take the next step.
I believe church needs to be always “mission”-oriented (direction) but should be “love”-driven. (motivation) When mission is the only thing that drives the church, church becomes not much different from companies, prioritizing ministry fruit over people.
As we work together to move the mission forward, while driven by the love of Christ for us, every ministry fruit will be the result of love we have shown to each other (John 13:35), not our effort to change people.