Do you ever wonder what your purpose in the church really is? Truthfully, this is something that I’m always thinking about. I’ve always got Jesus on the brain and over the years, I would say that my witness as a Christian has certainly evolved.
It started like the big bang theory. I was explosively witnessing just out of sheer excitement for the things that God had done in my life. I didn’t worry about doing things right or wrong .. I was seriously … excited! Like a child exploring a new world. I wasn’t even trying to witness. It just happened. I didn’t worry about where the other person was coming from or what their beliefs were. I just lived, breathed, and acted on the new-found hope that I had found.
When reality hit that life was still just that … real … it changed my witness. I went through an evolutionary process of ‘deliberately witnessing’ to ‘learning to let God lead.’ And still, my process continues to evolve. But along with my evolution is not just my witness, but a constant debate in my mind wrestles where my purpose lies.
I’m just being honest here, but I’ve one of those personalities that ALWAYS hears ‘you can DO more’ when I sit in on a sermon. Sometimes I hear ‘you aren’t doing enough’ … depending on where my psyche is for the day. Delivered with love, I know the pastors preach the right message. It’s my filter that I wrestle with .. i.e. me.
Do I put more time at church? Do I spend more time in bible study? Is my intention that putting time into my family and being a witness to my family really a valid intention or am I making excuses because I’m not doing enough?
I think we’re supposed to wrestle with these things. Not to a level that debilitates, but certainly to keep driving us forward. At least I hope so.
Today I had a revelation that building a church is just as important at the family level as it is at witnessing to complete strangers. I know that God has laid on my heart to prioritize my family in my witness. Truthfully, that witness doesn’t always look like bible studies or preaching baptism and the in filling of the Holy Spirit. But now that I consider this, it ALWAYS involves preaching repentance .. interesting.
I can’t help but see the correlation of a preacher and his wife building a congregation with that of my own family unit. Here, my husband and I are often the ‘pastors’ if you will. We spent some time putting out fires, building up, edifying, teaching, preaching, but mostly, loving .. even when it’s not easy to love. Teaching forgiveness, hopefully offering wisdom, guidance and always pointing towards righteousness.
And just like in church, we .. the leaders .. make mistakes and our ‘congregation’ gets to watch us fall, get back up, evaluate our integrity or seeming hypocrisy, and in the end, it’s usually us who seem to learn the most. We find ourselves learning the very things that we thought it was our job to teach.
In a world where there is so much work to do, it’s easy to feel as though we aren’t doing enough. Today however, after the Connecticut shootings, I was reminded that my work in my family really is important. We are in such a hurry to be witness to those that are hurting or those that need help that maybe we miss the strangers that are crying out for help in our own homes.
Yes, I can do more. There’s always more to do. Yes, I can do a better job. There’s always things to improve on. But in the end, I heard the voice clearly .. witnessing to my family is valid and just as important as witnessing to those outside of my home.
Sometimes it may take horrendous crimes to wake us up to this fact, but remember … despite all Noah’s preaching .. it was only his family that made it aboard the Ark.
Yeh, family as a priority .. I’m certain .. it’s valid.