You have heard it before. A pastor, in an effort to encourage you and others, has said, “God made you just the way you are. He designed you exactly how he wanted you because He has a specific plan for your life. Do not try to be like someone else. Be you because God loves you and you are special in His eyes!”
Have you ever heard those words? I have. Not only have I heard them, but I have said similar things while teaching my people. Not only have I heard them and said them, I believe those words are true! However, I am not sure that most of our churches believe they are true. Or, if they do, they sure do not act like they believe them at times.
What do I mean? If it is true that God designs us in a particular way and with a specific plan, why do so many churches desire to be like the church down the street? If God designs people with a plan in mind, certainly He designs His churches with particular plans as well, right? If this is true, each church should be able to say, “God created us just the way we are and we should not try to be like other churches. We need to be the church that God created us to be.”
Churches should stop acting like insecure teenagers who have to dress and act just like their friends to fit in and instead, do ministry as they were designed by God. I wonder how our churches would look if they practiced what they preached in this area.
Of course, it’s good to mention that we can learn from other churches.
Our church started a program where we housed homeless folks for 1 day every week.
Next year, we had 7 churches so that we could do it once every day.
Next year (this year), we have hundreds of churches doing it. Now we only do it once every 2 weeks — and there are always 2 churches doing it.
I love it when churches can act like the Church and get a big project done together.
You see teenagers do that, too (missions trips, etc). I wonder if our pursuit of identity helps us to get a bigger identity sometimes.
Sorry — many random thoughts. Good post!
I agree. We can learn from one another. This applies to us as indivduals and us as local churches. However, we must seek to be unique in the way God has made us if we are to truly reach our potential.
I like the idea of the homeless project your church is involved in. I know of a church that tried to do the same exact thing in their town, but could not because many of the people of the church were opposed to working with other churches who were a little different than them. Unfortunately, this reaction is all too common among our churches.