the glorious mess

i am really enjoying “deep & wide” by andy stanley.  here’s a cool passage…

We put people into leadership roles too early, on purpose.  We have virtually no leadership training.  We have new believers attempting to lead beyond their level of maturity.  We think that’s a good thing.  At times, it creates problems.  We like those kinds of problems.  We encourage our teenagers to lead small groups with kids just two or three years younger than they are.  We encourage nonbelievers to sign up for missions trips.  But we don’t let ’em lead.  They don’t always understand that.  We don’t always explain it to their satisfaction.  It would be easier not to let ’em go at all.  Once again, we opt for messy over easy.

We let nonbelievers serve in as many roles as possible.  Sometimes too many.  But we don’t let ’em serve everywhere.  They accuse us of being inconsistent.  We agree.  We allow people to serve in the parking lot that we won’t allow to volunteer in children’s ministries.  That’s confusing.  We all musicians to play on stage who we would not allow to lead worship.  We allow people who are not ordained to baptize.  We let women baptize.  I’m not comfortable with that.  I let ’em do it anyway.

We confront sin.  We do church discipline.  It always takes people by surprise.  On occasion, we ask people not to attend.  They assure us there are people with worse sins whom we’ve not asked to leave.  We agree and ask them to leave anyway.  For a time.

These are just a few examples (NOTE: there a LOT more) of our attempts to extend grace while carpet-bombing our community with truth.  We believe the church is most appealing when the message of grace is most apparent.  We are equally convinced that God’s grace is only as visible as God’s truth is clear. 

i think most people would want to gather with a church like the one andy stanley is describing.

heck, i want to join.





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