The local church was intended by Jesus to be a gathering of people full of faith—strong in their confidence in Him—not a gathering of religious folk who desperately need reassurance. Perhaps seeking personal comfort is not wrong in itself. But it is desperately wrong when it becomes the primary reason for the existence of the local church. When that happens the local church is no living fellowship at all, but a retreat center where anxious people draw resources that enable them merely to cope with the pains of life. The church then becomes a religious cushion.
– C. John Miller, Outgrowing the Ingrown Church
I was reminded this week as I came across a section on Spurgeon in a book I am reading about our calling to care for people. In it Spurgeon says “We can only produce life in others by the wear and tear of our own being.” In essence we see life in our groups, ministry, etc. as we get more bloodied in the process. Because of Christ’s love coming to us we can channel that through us out to other people. So vulnerability and honesty are some of the things we can give to people and one of the ways we know it is happening is what we look like…are we beaten up? Bloodied? Discouraged at times? Then good chance our life, our openness, our vulnerability is being used to bring life to others. Wish it could be easier.