Saturday, July 31, 2010

Church through the Eyes of a Child




“The church is not a building the church is not a steeple the church is not a meeting place the church is the people…

I am the church. You are the church.

We are the church together.

All of the people all around the world.

Yes we’re the church together.”

I remember a long time ago my parents teaching a song that went something like that. We are the church.

Last week we had the privilege of speaking at Hollow Rock Camp Meeting in Eastern Ohio and sharing what we’ve been doing over the past two years in Mexico, and Josh confessed that he can not minister without God and challenged the audience to do everything through Christ.

Later in the day we had the opportunity to share with the children (1st -3rd grades). While we were slightly leery of doing so we hope that what we said stuck with those sweet kids and we learned more than we expected to from them.

We started off by singing a song in Spanish together and then Jennifer shared that one time in Mexico she got the verbs for ¨pee” and “bake” mixed up when she was speaking. And of course we had all the children laughing like crazy.

Josh went on to talk about the church. He asked the kids if they knew of a time when their church did not exist? He told them that every church has to begin from nothing, from scratch. So he asked…”How do you start or plant a church?” One child responded that you buy some seeds and watch them grow, but then the majority responded much differently. The first really brave boy said “well first you go to Lowe’s and you buy as much wood as you can and then you build a great big church.” Then another one responded “yeah and you need lots of bricks and materials.” Yet another “lots of paint and things.” But Josh didn’t ask them ¨what do you need to build a church?” He asked, “How do you start a church or begin one?” There was no concept in these children’s minds that the church would need people before a building, none whatsoever. In fact, though they memorized Bible verses and were taught to give money to missions, they viewed church much differently than Josh and I have come to view church.

Josh soon explained that we the people were the church and in order to start a church you have to have people. There was silence in the room. We explained that you can “have church” in your house or meet anywhere. WE are the church. Of course we went on to challenge them more on this idea of church being the people, and then Josh asked them “what is a church?” Their responses saddened us because all of them said it was a castle, a big beautiful castle. That was it. After all of our explanations the church was still a castle. One kid finally said he would go out and buy the materials necessary to build a house and have church. Mmm…Maybe he was a little closer than the others who shouted church is a castle!

Josh and I walked away sad in our hearts because the idea that church is a building is very much ingrained in our culture. We must spend money to build it, and in their own words “it is a castle.” Later we digested the conversation with Jennifer’s grandfather and he said yes, church has become Disneyland.

God has been trying to teach us over the past few years that church is not a building and it is the people, and it certainly is not Disneyland. We’ve been around a lot of needy people. We’ve seen how sharing meals and studying the Bible in homes changed how we view church, and we know that God is calling us to live in such a way that our family, our friends, and those around us know that we are the church!



Thanks for your encouragement and prayers as we’ve been back in the States and needed some time to adjust and rest. We hope you all received our newsletter okay. =D

Please be in prayer for us as we travel across country in our 1999 Camry. Right now we are in Kansas and are on our way to Colorado. We will be participating in the program at Mission Training International called DAR. It is a debriefing and renewal program. If you would like to check it out please feel free to look at their website mti.org. We won’t be back to Kentucky until August 17th and then from there we will probably be off again traveling after spending a little time in KY. If we come your way we will be sure to let you know so that we can connect. Thanks again for your prayers and support!

PICTURES:
We celebrate 7 years of marriage on July 25th. 7 years. YAHOO!
Our names appear in front at Hollow Rock among other missionaries
We pose with some of our supporters and Asbury friends for a foto

1 comment:

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