Friday, August 29, 2014

Church isn't a building. Its a family.

It’s been quite some time since my last post and, in that time I've considered if I wanted to keep my blog live or to shut it down and not have to wonder if I've got anything worth writing about for the cyber world to read.
Well, I probably don’t have a lot to say that would keep readers interested and coming back for more but, I've always wanted to write. I want to one day call myself an author of at least one book! I don’t care if I still don’t know what my book will be about or that I might be aged 90 by the time I write it and aged 95 by the time it’s published but… I dare to dream. So I’m going to keep my blog live and I’m going to write when I feel the urge because this blog is part of the bigger picture God has planned for my life. Not sure what?
Anyway, here I am with an urge and I’m going to write about community, church community. Let’s call it a letter to my church.

Dear church,
You are my family. One of us said that there is a letter with your name on it. Then another later said that the first line of that letter reads “To my dear child, I love you”.
Now I’m going to tell you what the second line says. It says, “You are enough”.

Building family from church is sometimes hard. Let’s be honest, it’s exactly like blood family, you can’t always pick who they are! Just like your family, church family are the people God purposed for your life for, at the very least, this season. You may not be in the same stage of life as that person or the same age as this person or from the same place as another person but God put you in the same place with those people for such a time as this. He brought you together for this time so that you could show them a kind of love that only you can give and, for you to know a love that only they can give. God aligns people’s paths for a reason and sometimes it’s just to love one another.
Photo credit Matt Fong
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34-35

We just came back from our church camp which ran from Friday afternoon till Sunday midday. It was a great weekend but it was also very challenging for my family. Having to keep our eyes peeled for the whereabouts of our little wandering munchkins who weren’t just wandering but also crying and whining. The nights were freezing and in fact the first night was reportedly Darwin’s coldest night of the year thus far. It was so cold that it felt like I only slept for a combined total of 30 minutes for the entire night. We had learnt from previous years camps that it gets very chilling at night so we were prepared this year [or so we thought].  But alas, not prepared enough, we were freezing our butts off, the boys were waking all throughout the night and my oh my the first rays of sunshine could not rise fast enough!
Now, there’s no other remedy quite like that of a good coffee and good company to set you straight for the day so, out of the depths of a freezing and sleepless night I emerged from our igloo and set my eyes upon that first morning coffee by the camp fire. But not before the changing of nappies, dressing of wriggling and crying children and, the serving of their breakfast. All sounds relatively simple but any parent reading will know what rigmarole that all is, let alone after a cold and sleepless night! 

Let’s continue.With the warmth of a morning campfire and the sipping of hot coffee the day brightens and I’m privileged to be spending the weekend with my wonderful church family.
A lovely couple in the church had prepared an amazing race for us all to participate in and the idea was that it would be a bonding exercise that would help us get to know each other a little better. It did exactly that and was a lot of fun… and also my exercise quota for the quarter!  
About half way through the race Matt fell to the evils of an unseen log! He tripped and bustered his foot which then, had him out of action for the rest of the camp. Sigh. My husband is an incredible help to me and especially when it comes to parenting our sons. We work as a team and we only run smoothly (like a bumpy kinda smooth) when we work together. I’m a stress head and he’s too far the opposite but together we’re some kind of balanced.

So, camp was hard work! But the beauty of it all was how amazing it was to see church family rally around supporting and helping each other and, so naturally.
People helped others pitch tents, they jiggled and bounced each other’s kids, they washed each other’s dishes and at the end of each night they communed by the camp fire with marshmallows on sticks.
It’s in this moment I realize that my church isn't a building. My church is a family. My church are the people.
Church, you are enough! Being yourself and the person God wants you to be is all that needs to be and, for you to love one another. Building community isn't just about being an awesome worship leader or serving up the yummiest church supper. It’s loving each other first. Its being present and its saying "use me God".
Sure, I believe people should get involved and serve in their church where they feel called to and, I do want to be part of church growth, not on the outside just ‘watching’ it all happen. But I was reminded by a dear friend last week (on a day I was busy fulfilling roles I had committed to) about something that was said on a Colour DVD we had previously watched. The speaker had said that “you are the gift, not what you do”. It was so timely for me to be reminded of that on a day where I’m wondering if the coffees I’m serving taste okay, if the birthday cake I’m about to make will be successful and if the church talk I’m preparing (or not preparing, rather winging) will be encouraging and not a ramble. I am enough. Just being me and loving and serving others is all God requires of me…  not the world’s best coffee, or a 3 tiered chocolate ganache cake or, a talk that’ll land me a book title.

So, when church campers loved and served each other over the weekend, and were just being themselves (BO and all) they also blessed each other. I am so thankful for each one of you and the love that you bring into our church family/community. I can know that whatever my struggles or achievements that I have people that I can love and share my journey with. I pray that anyone can walk into our church building and find the love of a family, not the draping of lavish curtains but instead an example of God’s love for his children. 


1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you're only going to write when you want to. Your blog should be for you.

    Also; I am the gift, not what I do?! It's blowing my mind. Thank you.