WHAT KIND OF CHURCH ARE WE? I get asked that question from time to time, and naturally, I’m glad people are trying to better understand, and to make sense of what we are. The thing I’ve come to realize is that many of the people asking this question come from a very limited experience of the church, and therefore hold limited categories of what the church is, or can be. When folks ask this question, “What kind of church are you?” it seems they’re usually fishing for an answer such as, “We’re Baptist, or Methodist, or Catholic…Charismatic…traditional…contemporary…blended…so forth.”
A couple of weeks ago, while working out at the gym, I struck up a conversation with a man named Paul. Paul is in his mid-twenties, engaged to a pastor’s daughter, and a very fit, tough-looking U.S. Marine. Last week he shipped out to Okinawa, Japan for three years. As Paul and I talked he said to me, “I don’t know much about church. What kind of church are you looking to plant? ”
I mentally began to scroll down a small, safe list of multiple choice options, looking for an answer I thought might fit nicely into one of Paul’s (admittedly) limited categories. And then it occurred to me, “Why would I do that!?” Standing before me was a very sincere man who, for his first 25 years, had seen little or no need for the church in his life. Why would I now proceed to give a nice, neat, “folded-up” answer for him to tuck safely away into one of his small “church” categories, only to let him resume lifting weights and live another 25 years of life as if the church didn’t matter!?
So, I retreated from my safe plan, circled back around to the question, and dropped a bomb on Paul’s categories. I told Paul, this brave, warrior-of-a-man that, “We just want to be a church where GOD is the HERO.”
I could see, by the look on his face, that Paul was intrigued, that he was processing. The information was floating around in his mind, not finding a place to be filed. His categories had been blown wide open. He looked at me, needing more information, and that’s when this unplanned, unexpected answer became a natural launching point into the unparalleled news of our Redeemer’s heroic love. I shared with Paul that the Bible reveals we are all sinners and that because of sin every one of us lives in brokenness, under sentence of death, and in need of a Savior. None of us can save ourselves. But God displays unthinkable love as He comes and dies on a cross in our place, to save us in grand, heroic fashion. And he saves EVERYONE who calls on his name. God never has, and never will fail in his mission to save, to redeem.
In the movie, Superman Returns, “The Man of Steel” tells Lois Lane (the modern skeptic), “You wrote that the world doesn’t need a Savior, but every day I hear people crying for one.” For Paul’s sake, for love’s sake, let’s give answers too big, and too wonderful to be put into tiny categories, and filed away as irrelevant. Let’s give the world news of a risen, flesh & blood Savior returning for HIS church; for all who, by faith, cling in Him.
SUNDAYS @ THE PARK: I’m very excited to announce that this Sunday, March 15th, 10:30 AM—12:30, we’ll begin holding our regular Sunday gatherings, and we’ll be meeting at Monsignor Bill Pickard Park in Sharpstown! 8201 Roos Road, Houston, TX 77036
If you’re in the area and don’t yet belong to a church family, we’d love for you to join us on this pic-nic! We’ll have plenty of food (hot dogs, etc.) a frisbee to throw, and most importantly a great time of connecting with one another and connecting with God thru His Word & Spirit. You can text me for more information. 936.222.4260
NEEDS: For those who desire, we’re still fundraising for this first year of the church plant. Giving directions are here: http://www.redeemerslovehouston.org/give-online/
Also, it would greatly bless us if you’d take a solid 60 seconds+ out of your day, and pray for Redeemer’s Love Houston. Specifically, for our early season of existence we’re needing/looking for a FREE/AFFORDABLE Sunday meeting space (ie: a spare classroom at a local church). We’re also asking God to send us workers; people who want to partner with us here in Southwest Houston in the work of the gospel. Our great desire is to see God’s Spirit work in the lives of the people we encounter, and to see precious folks entrust their lives, by faith, to Jesus.
Have a great week!