Welcome to Messy Church

The past few weeks we have been studying the marks of the church by looking at the New testament church – a church that has impacted millions of people until today.

One of the things that struck me was the series on community. I have been pastoring for the past twelve years (2007-2019) at Victory Greenhills and it has been quite a ride. I had high points and low points leading and pastoring the church but I can honestly say that there is no greater blessing than to be part of a local church community.

One of the things we face as communities are hurts and pains. As a pastor, I have received many complaints in the past decade how the church made this mistake, or a person was rude to me, or a leader was insensitive, or that there are times the messages were not that good – or the pastor did not do well in his duties.

I and my wife have gone through many tough times as well – which makes us emphatize with many who have church hurts. From gossips, to rudeness, to betrayals among Christian friends and hurts.

As I was reading the book, The Kingdom Life: A Practical Theology of Discipleship and Spiritual Formation, the author talks of a chapter describing what we call a community of grace. It talks about a community that in spite of its messiness works things out in grace because nobody is perfect.

I have seen many people lambast the church community through the years because of hurtful experiences. I feel them and I want to minister healing to them. At the same time, I wanted them to see that communities of grace should be a place where mistakes and dysfunctions should be worked out. There is no better place to confront sin, move in Christlike repentance, change attitude than in church. I have always seen church as a place where imperfect people attend. Paul, writing to the church even declared that he is the worst of sinners. If Paul tells us that – then what kind of a sinner am I?

Yet we see them work things out – they had sharp disagreements and painful breakups in the New Testament church yet they manage to work it out in God’s time. I am thankful there was no social media in the early church so they don’t need to publicly deal with the mess. They had to work it out or the church won’t be a credible witness to the world.

John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”

That’s a tough command Jesus gave to us as a church – yet this is the only way people know if what we confess is true. I hope to see a day when the people of God learns to move in grace more than judgment. And this applies to both ends of the relationship – to the one who judges and the one who experience judgment. Let us learn how to work it out as a community of believers whom God continues to mature in grace – day by day.

Here is my preaching on what it means to be in community:

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.