Church as it should be

Linda and I met Floyd and Sally McClung a few weeks back during the recent Festival of Tents gathering over Labor Day Weekend.  We were privileged to transport them from Portland to Brownville, OR for the festival.  This is a couple who have passionately served the Lord Jesus and His church all over the globe for several decades; currently in a South African township near Cape Town.  Floyd has written several books, most recent You See Bones I See an Army: Changing the Way We Do Church.  

It is obvious from being around Floyd and Sally and reading his book of their love for Jesus and His Church.  And in its most simple form the most effective in connecting to those in need of Christ’s love and grace; which Floyd describes as, “people loving people.”  I found myself thoroughly blessed and encouraged reading the following words describing the purpose of the church from pages 78-79,

The church is God’s way of inviting us to live for something far greater than ourselves.  His love awakens desire in our hearts as we grow with others in community.  It is not an easy journey, but is God’s way of teaching us to love.  Our hearts come alive as we are cared for and loved and forgiven and restored, and as we do the same for others.  We discover who we are as the children of God through loving relationships.  This is the purpose God for the church, to love as Jesus would if he were walking around in our bodies. In fact, he is walking the earth today, in us. We are Jesus to people who don’t know him.

The church is God’s way of building bridges between those of different races and colors.  The church heals those in pain and opens its arms to those without hope.  The church speaks for God in times of crisis, and calms the fearful when they are overwhelmed with life’s cares.  The church is there in times of tragedy and grieving.  It helps break the chains of addictions and speaks truth to the confused.  The church is God’s prophetic voice in the face of injustice. Whatever the problem, whatever the need, God has placed within the church the resources necessary to respond. The empowering presence of God dwells in the church.  And it is there, in the family of the redeemed, that we discover our part in the purposes of God.

Yes, we all know these things, but it good to be reminded again and encouraged to continue on the journey of living in God’s purposes.


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