the following is an email i received from nick morrow…who is a part of our church. he is right on and i just wanted to share it with everyone…so here goes:
tonite, at the [living] room, we cooked loads and loads of hotdogs and went around passing free meals out to anyone who wanted/needed it. i was blown away at how many people were really excited at the prospect of a free dinner. and we got to talk to people and meet a lot of people who we never met before. it was just awesome.
we’ve been working with social services in town, helping out the homeless shelters and domestic abuse centers and whatnot. and sadly, people are really surprised to see a church doing all this, and they ask why we do it. and obviously the answer is, we are just trying to be like Jesus, do the things we think He wants us to. and i think most people are just so shocked to see people spending time and money and energy where there isn’t any (worldly) “return”…and that is the sad thing, is that a lot of churches seem to run like businesses these days, where people are seen as consumers and Jesus is the product, and there has to
be some sort of tangible “return” if there is going to be any sort of effort exerted. and any effort in relationships outside the church is always in the name of evangelism. and it tears me up, because that seems to me like it’s love with expectation, like loving people so that they’ll change. and while i’m confident that Jesus wants to transform people, that isn’t why He
taught us to love- He wants us to love simply because God loves people and He wants us to do the same. because man, it’d be terrible if Jesus only loved when He saw the opportunity of a “return” on His investment of love….none of us would be loved then, because we can’t give Jesus back what He offers us.
the most amazing thing to me, about all of this, is how pumped up i am right now. i’d say i’m more excited about following Jesus right now than i ever have been after a church “service”. it makes me wonder if what TLR did tonite was maybe closer to what Jesus had in mind for the church than traditional church services? don’t get me wrong, i think communion and
teaching and music is all important at times, but if that is ALL it ever is, maybe the church is selling itself (way) short. maybe that is the beginning, the place to gather, in order to overflow and go OUT and serve people, love people, get to know people, and take the to the places that look to us like hell…
everybody at TLR– let’s do this way more often! let’s be creative and fun about the ways we can serve and love our neighbors! and anyone who doesn’t go to the [living] room, but follows Jesus, i’d encourage you to go serve someone, be self-sacrificial like Jesus, without expecting any sort of return, and see how you feel afterward…it’s at least worth the