Invite Jesus

My soul cries out for Jesus, not in the way you think. It weeps for Him, for the pain He must feel. I am ashamed.
When I read the Gospels I do not see “church”. See I am beginning to understand “church”. Growing up it was Sunday mornings and Sunday afternoons for youth. After traditional, boring to a kid, service there was coffee and donuts in the fellowship hall. Nothing fancy, just styrofoam cups, napkins to hold your donut and fellowship.
Today “church” is a country club of sorts. Meant for the elite only. Fancy pastries replace donuts, coffee shops replace the old metal urn. Fellowship is replaced with Small Groups, church language for cliques. “There is a small group for everyone” aka stick to your own kind.
“Saving the Lost” is the slogan. I half expect to see a golden cross with a sign under it that says “over 10,000 Saved”. I half expect a Concierge to be available to make your lunch reservations while you worship. Church, country club church, has become all about butts in the seats and money in the basket. Oh you let the strays in, a homeless person here, struggling family there, a single parent or two. It keeps you on the “up and up” so to speak. Makes you look “holy”, gives people the impression your “church” is inclusive. These folks will come and go, no one will notice when they leave, no one will ask why they left. There will be another one of “those” people to take their place, to fill your quota.
Pastors have become business men. Its all about the numbers, right? Butts in the seat. Butts pay the bills. The more the better, rich butts please. Business meetings have squeezed out the time for members. A few minutes here and there, but never your full attention, you have a meeting to get to and we are taking up your time, you can only spare a minute. Being a pastor is hard work. There are funds to raise to further God’s vision for your church. Funny did you ever stop long enough to think that if its God’s vision He will provide the funds for it? So pastors are busy, busy, busy. No time, hardly for even their own families, even pastors forget the top 5. God, spouse, family, self, work…remember those, you preached on them…
Here is something to remember…the few you have in your church that DON’T fit your pretty little church package…the ones you don’t parade around for fundraisers-the single mom, the struggling family, the recovering addict…WE ARE THE CHURCH! We are the church the Gospel speaks about. For many of us just getting to the building is a struggle, when we tithe, its from the heart and many times means an extra leftover night. When we give, we give from the heart and its a true sacrifice. Our giving shows our great faith in God. Faith that even pastors don’t always show, the faith that God will provide. See when we give there will be no fundraiser to replace funds. We must have complete trust in God’s Word and promises that He will provide for us in return for our sacrifice. Remember that, you taught us that one Sunday too.
You see, you have your “country club” church, where the single mom, the homeless, the poor, the sinner does not fit in. We can’t go on fancy retreats or pay to study God’s word. What you see is noninvolvement, what we see in exclusive clubs we aren’t allowed to join. What Jesus sees is WE ARE THE CHURCH!! WE are the lost, the wounded, the broken and sometimes the hungry. The world helped break us, but the “church” man created put the nails in the coffin so to speak. Many won’t step foot back in your “church”. I suspect we are the majority or a growing one, which make this all even sadder.
So today my soul weeps for Jesus. For the punishment He took to save us all and for the mess we have made of it. Church is not a business, it should be a family. Well I guess it is and we are all the relatives you keep well hidden from the neighbors.
So flip your sign, fire up the latte machine and reserve the best seats for the biggest supporters. Get those butts in the seats for Jesus!!! Just do one small thing…consider, just maybe inviting Jesus to your club-He seems to be lacking the clout to get in also because we haven’t seen Him in your “church” for a long time.

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