I have learned some things over the years through this journey of church planting. That is not completely accurate, I have learned an indescribable amount over these years as God has built His church. There is no book, aside from the Bible, that can adequately prepare a person for this journey. We have tried to be very intentional to use our learning as a tool to shape the way we do things.
We learned early and repeatedly that doing church hurts. At the very core of our DNA is what we call community. This represents the way we see relationships playing a critical role in gospel transformation. The church is a body of relationships.
The people of the church, although most of the time very good people, are still sinful people who make prideful choices. For anyone to believe that the people in the church are above this sort of activity would be to dismiss the ongoing sin in the lives of people. All of us will be marked by sinfulness until Jesus returns and gathers those who have believed and followed Him.
As the years have progressed we have begun telling the new families that come to Crossings Community that they will get hurt. The vision of CCC is to see real life relationships formed and sustained through the great victories and devastating defeats of life. These kind of relationships, much like family relationships, get messy when we let people into the realities of our life and home.
The ‘funny’ thing is that the greatest life-giving relationships are the ones that have weathered the storms of difficulty, offense, apology, and reconciliation. The gospel-damaging reality in the lives of many is that they have found the doorway of difficulty amidst relationships and turned the other way. The doorway represents the transition in the sort of biblical community which bears the fruit of life-long relationships built on the foundation of gospel transformation.
God created His church for real relationships to be experienced. God created His church knowing that people would be sinfully wicked people. The great blessings of the church are found in the transformation that comes through the authenticity of real relationships which demand grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Church will hurt. However, the perseverance and reconciliation demanded by gospel relationships will create the strongest and most life-giving relationships we will ever experience.
What if we committed to working through the hurt rather than running away from it? How much of God’s work are we running away from when we flee reconciliation? Have you ever found yourself hurt in the church? Did you work through the difficult aspects of humble reconciliation?