We’ve been talking about the church as a partner for parents all week.
But now the tough question some of us are asking…why church? Of all the partners God could have chosen, why did God choose this particular vessel? Let’s be honest, the church has not exactly had an unblemished history. And on the personal level, more than a few of us have been burned by the church. Some of us don’t attend church anymore or are about to stop attending church because we’ve been hurt. I totally get that and I’m a senior pastor. I know I’ve made decisions that have hurt people. In fact, I can at times empathize with people who left our church because of decisions I’ve made. Leadership is never perfect.
So why church? Isn’t Jesus enough? Why do we have to put skin on something good and ruin it?
Well, it might not be such a surprise that churches aren’t perfect partners when we realize that families aren’t perfect either. When it comes to family, we believe that God isn’t holding up a perfect picture of the ideal family and telling all the rest of us to be like that. Instead (and if you’re a parent, this comes as an incredible relief to you), we believe God uses broken people and invites broken families to be part of his bigger story.
Question: Could that be true of the church as well?
What if it’s actually a sign of God’s grace and mercy that he uses flawed community (the church) to demonstrate God’s story of redemption to a broken world? Clearly the church needs to own our mistakes and confess our sins. But truthfully even our best intentions still point toward a God whose grace and mercy we will never be able to fully demonstrate. If God uses the church despite all our imperfections, doesn’t that in fact give all of us hope?
God uses broken people because he loves broken people. As a broken person, a broken parent and a broken leader, I’m very grateful for that.
Here’s the power: God knows us, God loves us and God uses us anyway. God uses people, broken as we are, at home and in the church, to reflect his grace.
Does the idea of having a less-than-perfect-partner in the church encourage you or discourage you? In what way (if any) does it help you see the nature of God’s grace more clearly?