For me, church is not the building, or even necessarily the group of people in the building, but a conglomerate of people that bring Jesus into my life, however they go about doing it. Random doesn't even begin to describe it, but holy does.
For today, when I say church, I'm referring to the group of people in the building in which I serve and go to on Sundays and almost every other day of the week lately.
I think I have this church thing figured out, finally. I'm not trying to be arrogant in saying that...I think it's very hard to have the church figured out, and it's come as a surprise to me today. Because you would think you'd finally get church figured out during one of those times when "the world is all as it should be." But the world's not all as it should be, especially at my church right now. Especially during this time my church is going through.
Things are rough right now. And it's going to get worse before it gets better. It's also a case of extremes for me in the church right now, because I'm very involved with one minister and his family, and they are the epitome of church to me, and they show me Jesus all the time. And then there are other aspects of church that are hard and dark and disappointing for me right now.
But what I've got figured out today is the ministering part of it. Not being a minister, but ministering to others. And the part I've figured out is that it's HARD. And it's not about me, and unless I'm put into a direct ministering situation, I don't realize just how much of it is not me but God. And just how connected I have to be with Him, not just to get it right, but to even have anything to contribute. This probably doesn't make sense to a reader, but to me, it makes perfect sense. For me to bring Jesus to others, I have to let others be Jesus to me, and talk to Jesus about it, and figure out from Him what the best way to do that is.
I'm ministering to and with my one precious little couple, and I love them and watching what they go through as a couple. They are very young, and they are struggling with an issue as a couple. They're not struggling with being a couple. They've got that down. They've got boundaries, and practices set up to make sure their relationship is pure and God-glorifying. I've watched them go through a problem, ask people for help, and figure out on their own that the advice those other people were giving them was stupid and wrong for them as a couple.
Now, I'm getting to watch them go through a real problem. A life-altering, faith-challenging question. And I'm trying to help them, and I've discovered that there's no way I can do this. I am not qualified. So I ask God, and He helps me, like I teach my little four-year-olds that He will. And I get to watch them struggle through this as a team, as she looks up to him, as he leads her, as they pray together, and as they try to come out of it with their heads above water.
And it makes me smile in the midst of this disappointing, challenging time. And together, we bring Jesus to each other.