So, you don't want to go to church anymore.
By Dave Coleman and Wayne Jacobsen
Okay, so. This book was really good. The plot was kinda cheesy and what not, but what the book said really spoke to my heart in a lot of ways.
It starts off with a bunch of people who just left church arguing about trivial things, accusing each other, and just being generally mean. Well- out of blue, John comes in and simply says, "You don't really know who Jesus is, do you?" It was the peaceful stillness and simplicity that caught the attention of the crowd and brought a close to the chaos. From the start, that trait in the character of John was something that make my heart skip a beat. It's the very character and spirit of Jesus himself. This stillness and quiet peace is displayed in John throughout the book. Even when the other main character, Jake, who is on a spiritual journey with God throughout the book gets really mad and defensive, John still maintains his composure. No- I take that back, he actually LOVES in a way I could feel and gave me goosebumps. Somehow, through a character in a book, I felt like that guy really loved people, right where they were at. He didn't judge them and he didn't roll his eyes, and he desperately loved them with the heart of God. If I am being honest, a lot of times I feel myself not really loving people in the middle of their struggles. I can get annoyed or bored or sick of them not getting it. And how, oh how, that makes me sad. Often I get heated, and I do not let peace resonate, because I take matters into my own hands. I love Jesus so much, and I love that about Him. I love His ability to captivate by stillness and simplicity. I love his gentle loving IRRESISTABLE kindness. And I so bad want to be able to share that with others. Give me Your eyes, God. Help me give a selfless love.
Secondly, it spoke a lot on the routine of churches. Just how it is soo easy to get into routine. Like ever since kids are young we teach them to perform. Bring your Bible, memorize verses, have perfect attendance. And it's like a show, or like school. That's not what God is about at all. We need to guide kids to fall in love, not to measure up! I think we get so caught up in camps and lessons and series and advertisements and the music and the humor, that we forget how to be in love with God. And we lose why we started it all in the first place. It is so easy to GO to church and it seems so forgotten on how to BE the church. When we meet lost people- we invite them to church. We don't get to know their hearts, we don't invite them over to dinner. We point them to the hospital instead of treating the wounds ourselves. Churches often feel so fake. Everyone has on a smile, and they greet you and hug you cause that's what they do. And it's like you're at a concert instead of in a family. And I know not everyone can know one another, but that's why we have to BE the church, EVERYDAY. One person at a time. We need to lose the act and the expectation and the rulebook. As I was reflecting on this, I realized that the place I most feel God is at the Bible Study I hold at my house on Monday nights with people from my high school. I realized it's because we are real. No one pretends. We know who is serious about God and who isn't, and that's okay. And we can talk about how somebody is struggling with porn and someone can't forgive their father and someone else can cry because they feel unworthy. And I have never seen more people fall in love with God than through this. And I do nothing fancy. I do not spend elaborate amounts of time on lessons. I do not have fancy ads or shows. I do not play any icebreakers. On their own, people have fallen in love and it has transformed them in this short year. We have lost the simplicity and the flat out, no performance, no sparkle necessary awe of God in modern day churches. I want to love people without a schedule. And I want to know that God is not condensed into an hour and a half service. I want to talk about what God moves me to talk about, not be told what to say and not to say. We plan too much. We plan so much that we rob the spirit of it's power. I wonder what life would be like if we just stopped trying to put God in a box. We have good intentions, and all churches do too. But by our very institutions we rob people of real relationship and give them routine instead. My heart is praying for the truth to be manifested in my life. The church is people. You can have church at your dinner table. You can have it with the man you meet at the mall. Where people are that love God, they WILL pray, they will praise. It will overflow and no one has to plan it at all. You will want to get together and share, not cause you feel bad if you don't, but because you receive joy when you do.
I want to ride around the country on my bike and everyday wake up in a new adventure. I would let God decide where I go and who I meet. I would have no routine. And it would be awesome. I would be the church, on a bike. Or maybe I could get an RV cause I really hate peeing with no toilet, it doesn't work out well. (: