What does that mean? It means nobody is perfect, and if you know that, you are a prime candidate to be part of local church community.
“to connect with Jesus” is being connected to Jesus AND His mission, the most vital element of spiritual growth. To connect with others in that mission is what you could call missional community.
It doesn’t mean drawing lines on nonessential issues in order to determine who is “in” and who is “out” — that is religion.
And it doesn’t mean “meet my needs or else.”
Jesus says “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.” John 15:4 Message Version
Recently at a party a guy told me how he had gone from church to church, and had always found something wrong in their theology, politics, etc. Pretty sad, not that he had found something wrong but that this was his story. I shared about trying to keep it simple, all about following Jesus…, and that he probably wouldn’t be happy at Smoky Hill Vineyard.
And honestly, being connected to Jesus in American culture has often degenerated into just getting our needs met. We spend lots of time trying to keep people happy, instead of leading people into the mission of Jesus.
“. . . Our motto degenerated from ‘We are the church, here to serve a broken world’ to ‘What does the church have to offer me?’. . . are we too much about us getting fed and too little about us exercising our faith?” -From “An Unstoppable Force” by Erwin McManus, Pastor of Mosaic Church in Los Angeles
People often see the church primarily as a means to meeting our own personal needs and wishes, instead of seeing the church as a supernatural community and family serving one another and on a mission together, here to serve God and serve others before ourselves.
“The church is the only institution that exists solely for the benefit of nonmembers.”
– G.K. Chesterson
Interestingly, the more we focus on getting our needs met the less happy we are. The more the church focuses on keeping people happy, the less fruitful she is.
But the more we gather around serving God and others, the more we experience God’s pleasure, our needs are met, and we bear fruit.
Nonreligious people are drawn to this type of missional community.
I’m thrilled to be part of a local church community where this is our spiritual DNA, and to be connected with many other local churches in the Denver area with the same DNA!