3. It is a church where people can be real.
The church is not a museum of beautiful believers but a hospital for broken people . . . broken hearts, broken dreams, broken relationships and broken lives.
If there is any place where people should be able to be real . . . to be honest about hurts, habits, and hang-ups . . . it should be the church . . . a place where we can drop the masks, be honest, and still be accepted for who we are not what we pretend to be.
4. It is a church where authentic change can take place
Authentic change is not outward conformity that just gives the appearance of change. It’s not about doing “spiritual things” like reading the Bible, attending church, and going through the religious motions. There’s nothing wrong with any of these . . . but to do them while all the while being controlled by greed, envy, jealousy, insecurity, anxiety or fear . . . is, well, to miss the point. That’s why we have to be real . . . honest . . . bring it out into the open . . . then the change begins to happen.
5. It is a church where everyone is welcomed
Everyone means everyone . . . the good, the bad, the ugly. No pre-wash needed! No prerequisites required. My guess is lots of people who are in touch with their brokenness and know that what they’re doing now is not working, would feel much like the tax collector in the story Jesus told in Luke 18. He went up to the temple to pray but stayed at a distance. He didn’t feel he was good enough.
A church of grace is a church where everyone is not only invited, but also welcomed when they show up.
A church of grace . . . that’s the kind of church I want and desperately need. I pray Abundant Life Church will always be that church.