Father, help me to see the church as it should be
Not as it is now, but as you see.
No longer regard people from a human point of view
See with God’s eyes how we will be made anew.
See the bursts of glory all around
Exchange the errors for the profound.
See the potential in others; sin in myself
Forgive, forget, restore back to health.
“Bless others”, He says, “as you have been blessed”
“Unconditionally, relentlessly, indiscriminately”, I confessed.
Recently I asked myself the question “why do I love the church?”…this was my answer:
1. The outsider is the centre.
Those that are on the outside are the ones that we want to care for; people will labour for those who they have never met, for those that are not seeking God.
2. The least are the most
The needs of the one who is the least influential are prioritised over those that are the most involved. The special needs of the few are sought to be met if possible, even at the expense of the comfort of the majority.
3. The unrequested is provided
What is not expected, what is not demanded is given freely, willingly, instinctively. When one person sees a need they take the initiative to meet that need, without being asked or asking someone else.
4. The needy are the needed
Those that have nothing to offer, those who nobody else has time for or wants are the most precious to Christ…and the most precious to his church.
This was all brought home to me at my home church recently. We are a small rural church of 40 or so adults and a dozen kids. Over the course of a few weeks my Dad distributed 3000 gospel leaflets round our town. In response to one of those leaflets a group of East European young people came to church. They started coming to the morning services, and without even asking, our people on the audiovisual system put up the bible reading in their own language, alongside the English. At this moment I realised again afresh, that I love the church! People going out of their way, without being asked to help those new to our church feel at home…what a great place!