Tuesday Re-mix – This is a popular post from last year, updated and resubmitted for your consideration and comments.
O.K. I admit that I sometimes struggle with staying positive. I’ve been looking over some of my recent posts and I’m realizing I’ve been pretty hard on the American church. I confess that, when I look across its landscape, my eyes are foremost drawn toward broken relationships and other things that are not right. I suspect that is part of the peacemaker’s “gift package”.
So today we will celebrate some ways we are often getting it right. Today we will recognize that there are some communities of believers in the Western church who really are experiencing the awe of God daily and, from a peacemaker’s point of view, are teaching and practicing Biblical interpersonal relationships both inside and outside the walls of the church. Today we take our focus off what is wrong and put it squarely on what is right, what is deserving of a pat on the back and an “attaboy” (or an “attachurch” in this case). Here are some churches for whom I stand and applaud:
The People-focused church. While the debate rages on about being inward-focused versus being outward-focused (evangelism versus discipleship, attractional versus missional, etc.–whatever labels you want to put on the argument) there are local communities of believers who have decided to be people-focused…whether those people are found inside the church or outside. That was Jesus, wasn’t it? He was focused on the people inside his circle of disciples and He was focused on those outside it as well. He didn’t choose one or the other. He chose both. He was utterly passionate about people. There are churches I know who are like that–it is their culture. Their leaders have taught them to see through …