I Quit Going to Church

Dear Church, It’s been a while. Let’s take a couple minutes to slowly and prayerfully reflect on the “The Dream.” Here’s a worthwhile question, “How much of ‘The Dream’ is becoming a reality because of the way I’m living it out (by God’s grace and power)?” Let’s read it asking the Lord to bring it to fruition in and through each of us. The Dream . . . to be a church that loves one another boldly, forgives one another freely, serves one another sacrificially, and communicates with one another authentically. . . . to be a church in which people who don’t know Christ receive priority attention and are attracted to Him by the winsome, authentic, lavish love of Christ they see us display toward one another. . . . to be a biblically functioning community of believers where people discover their God-given gifts and employ them gladly for the good of the whole body, where the rich help take care of the poor and the strong help carry the weak, where hurting, struggling folks are not condemned, but cared for and healed, and where all people are valued simply on the basis that they matter to God and, therefore, matter to us. . . . to be a church where seekers can come and find a safe place where they can relate and an open invitation to belong, and yet be drawn to a loving Christ who desires to wash away their sin and make them new and whole and clean. . . . to be a church where it’s okay, even the norm, for people to be real, genuine, vulnerable and transparent, displaying the loving holiness of God that has been poured out into their hearts by the Holy Spirit. . . . to be a church where new believers are nurtured, cared for, grounded in their faith and grow to maturity, and where mature believers reproduce themselves spiritually in the lives of others. . . . to be a church that looks beyond itself and beyond its immediate community to its larger responsibility of helping to fulfill the great commission of Christ to the very ends of the earth. … to be a church that lives every day as an instrument of God’s hope and healing and compassion and justice and restoration and reconciliation and truth and beauty and righteousness and love in the world.  
To live “The Dream” is to “be the church.”
  May it be so, Joel