Saturday, April 18, 2009

Doing Church The Way God Called Us To Do It

Home.  Sitting in Panera waiting on results from a local show choir competition.  Here, engaged, but not really here....

Feeling convicted about my "Dear 21st Century Church" post.  Seems like I either didn't explain myself very well or there was something bitter running through the entire thing experience that leached through.  In spite of three edits, I didn't see it.  Still not sure what it is.

I don't want to offend or be a stumbling block.  I took the post down.

And then I read this today, from Perry Noble's blog, which is far more powerful than anything I could ever dream up to say about any other church experience.

"One of the things that I always teach here at NewSpring Church is that we do not have the corner on the market when it comes to a movement of God. We aren’t doing church “the right way.” We aren’t doing church a better way. We are doing church the way God called us to do it…and if another church is doing what God has called them to do and people are being reached, lives are being changed, sin is being repented of, the excluded are being included, teenagers are discovering their potential in Christ, marriages are being restored and children are learning about Jesus and so on…who in the world would want to criticize that? (Answer - satan…just in case you were curious!)" - Perry Noble

Let's just leave it at that, shall we?

I'm sorry.

6 comments:

Patty P said...

The whine comment was a joke : )

Karen B. said...

Hey Beth...not sure what the apology is for. I have thoroughly enjoyed your posts and your insights on the books you've read this week. I am totally amazed and humbled by your continued commitment to making church all that God planned it to be.

Anonymous said...

The 'Dear..." post upset me ...a lot. In the last couple days I have tried to put my finger on exactly why I was upset by it. I reread it several times also.. I think it was the fact that I look up to you as a spiritual leader and the post had such a judgemental, sarcastic and condescending tone I was shocked. Then I thought, ok, she's human, not perfect and entitled to her opinion. Maybe you were just describing your experience....and it was actually a little funny. But it wasn't clear to me whether it was a joke or not. And if you were that critical of strangers...how much do you also criticize those you know well. Maybe I'm way off. But for what it's worth..I appreciate the apology.
I agreee with everything in the Newspring quote. I check your blog daily and usually, well always, read things that uplift me, make me smile, or point me to an area where I could grow as a christian. I just didn't see anything positive in the 'dear' post.

Beth said...

Point taken, anonymous.

Thanks for the grace.

Sure would love for you to scoot past the anonymity. I'm thinking we know one another. It's a little weird...

I appreciate the accountability you offered here. Thanks!

Jackie said...

I hesitated to post this comment because I really just didn't want Beth to continue to "beat" herself up about her "Dear" post but I really felt convicted to say this:

For anyone who may have been disillusioned or uncomfortable with Beth's "Dear" post, we have to remember and "hear" from Beth's perspective.

"Doing" church is Beth's job.

Good or bad, she sees "church" a little differently than the average attender. It is with the eyes of a minister that she sees "church." To remove that visual is very difficult, I am sure. It would be no different than me going to have an X-ray at an unfamiliar Radiology Department, somewhere where I knew no one. My only gauge is the product they deliver me. With my skilled "Radiographer eyes", I would watch and evaluate EVERYTHING that went on around me. The way the receptionist greeted me, the way the technologist approached me, the skill and effeciency under which my Xrays are obtained, if I was treated with just the right amount of compassion without being condescending, etc, etc.

This would be natural.

So Beth--thanks for your perspective on how you experienced others "doing" your vocation. It is not easy looking through lenses other than the ones we wear. I DO agree with Perry Noble, but I totally know your heart. And I understood the context in which you penned your blog.

Bill said...

OK...so I've been a little to taken up with knee rehab and botanical garddens. Having read all of this I'm now curious about the "origonal" Dear post. Curiosity I guess...anyway...if you want to just move on...ok....but I'm just curious as to the content and the reaction. Your Ohio Friend..still in touch.