I feel like the word “church” has a bad rep lately. I hear it all the time… “I have no problem with Jesus I just don’t do church” or even “Church is where hypercritics go.” Its like people want to know a loving God but the moment organized religion comes in they are OUT. I get it! I was there once too. I have seen church done wrong so many times that I wanted nothing to do with it. Even after saying yes to Jesus I would still have to choke back the vomit in my throat every time someone said these three hot words: church, religion & saved.
When I think about where I’ve been closest to God it wasn’t inside a church building but in the streets of Mazatlan. Richie and I went on a mission trip to Mexico last year and we met a man down there named Neto. He found Jesus while serving time in a Mexican prison and his story started to take shape. After being released he left like God told him to start a feeding center in the slum that he lived in. Every morning Neto and his wife wake up super early and go all around town collecting food and then prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner for all the kids in their community.
On our trip, the team, would wake up at 5am and go help prep the meals for the kids at this feeding center. It sounds like a simple thing, just feeding kids but it held a deeper meaning for me. I have never seen God clearer than on the faces of those little niño’s eating their meals. It wasn’t a “church building” but it was church in action doing it the right way. Taking in kids that don’t have enough to eat and loving on the ones who were starved for attention is what we as Christ followers are called to do. We are people becoming the church in our communities. If Jesus were here today I could picture him playing wall-ball with the kids in the street, making small talk with Neto about his plans for expanding the center and eating meals next to each and every one of them.
I get that church and religion haven’t done things right but I also understand that life is messy and people are messy and if people make up a church than you guessed it.. its gong to be messy as well. Just don’t give up. There is hope. If you search for God you will find Him.
“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7