Your Church Is Better

Your church is better than mine

And I’m good with that.

To me, better isn’t the issue anyway. We’re different. I think we should be.

My church doesn’t do everything well, and it can’t.

The “my _______ is better than your _______” feels like a sassy elementary school yard conversation, don’t you think?

I can’t imagine how that type of comparison honors our Father.

For example, if I compared all my siblings along with their respective families, ranked them, and assigned a “best” and “worst” status, with a some “almost good” and “almost bad” families in the middle…

What the what?

I don’t believe this would be honoring to my parents or to anyone.

But still, if someone were to score churches based on a composite total of all the important measurable categories, I know my church would not get the “best” label. We wouldn’t even come close. We’d be somewhere in the “almost bad” to “almost good” range.

Our goal isn’t to be the best church.

I don’t think God is asking that of any church, anywhere.

Our church’s goal is to be the church God needs in our community.

If we were to draw a circle around our church, a 5 mile or 10 mile radius, what does God want to do right there? That’s what we’re asking – not how can we be better than any other church out there.

From that perspective, there are a few things my church does very well and I want to brag about one of those things today:

My church does grace extremely well.

I mean, they understand it, they believe it, and they give it.

It’s not just a motto or lip service at NWLife. That’s what I’m so proud of; giving grace is our family’s way of life.

This giving of grace that our church does has a specific goal in mind: to be restorative. That’s exactly what God has done for us—and we merely want to reflect this in our community.

For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. —Romans 5.10

Even though we were opposed to God, He was gracious to us. Jesus, the ultimate expression and person of grace, died for us—not because we were good or worthy or on His side, but because we were terrible and He loved us still. This is grace!

And grace moves us towards restoration. “Our friendship with God was restored.”

I wrote about this recently in this post, “Things I Dislike About Ministry Pt. 2.” Here’s a quote from that blog:

This last year, one of our staff members went into a recovery program. This is uncharted territory for me. I’ve never been on a church staff where this could happen. From what I’ve seen, the only option is dismissal. But there is nothing redemptive about that.

Having a staff member go into recovery, then come back and continue to serve on our team is my favorite thing that happened in the life of our church this past year.

I love that my church lives this. Thank you NWLife. You’re my family and I am proud to belong.

We don’t have the best buildings. We don’t have the best preachers. We don’t have the best cameras, lights, or websites. We don’t have a McDonald’s PlayPlace inside the church…

I don’t mind at all. There are other churches out there with these things.

But our family is a little different, kinda quirky, and definitely unique.

Around here, we do grace—and we do it big.

QUESTION: One of my favorite questions to ask friends who participate in other churches is this: What is your church doing really well right now? What’s working? What are you excited about and/or proud of? Tell me some good news coming out of your church!

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 of “Your Church Is Better Than Mine” and on Thursday for Part 3, “It’s Just Average.” I plan on doing some more bragging…

I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

6 Comments to Your Church Is Better

  1. The statement “your church is better than mine” resonates in my ears and reminds me of a time not so long ago and is one of the many reasons (when as a single mom) Caleb and I left the church we once called home. It was a smaller church where “everybody seem to know your name” and you felt like you belonged. The church grew, moved to a new location and was rebuilt- at which point, church service became a “production” of sorts and it felt like you were looked down upon for wearing your Sunday best (even if it was a worn pair of jeans, sweatpants or shorts). I was on the hunt for a new “Home” and over many years and now married, did we find NWLife (admittingly because of the backpack give), our first Sunday at NWLife became many in a long line of return Sunday’s.. and yes, maybe I am biased, but in my opinion, NWLife does grace better! Thank you for letting us call NWLife “Home”.

  2. Love the grace part, especially when dealing with those in recovery. You’d be pretty surprised by those who have been through recovery. You mention, “never being on a church staff where this could happen” My guess it could happen on any church staff. Maybe that why grace is important, it is needed everywhere

    One last point: I would totally love the MacDonald s play area.

  3. Danielle Pridgen

    I don’t attend any church regularly, except for the Foursquare church which my clients like to go to. I work on Sunday mornings so if they want to go to church then I go too. Last Sunday, one of my clients agreed to go check out Morningstar, where Micahn pastors. I told her that it was my favorite church in town so she went with me. And she LOVED it!!! As we walked out of the building after service she said, “I like this church. I’m gonna go here every Sunday!!” I think I know what she liked most about it. “They’ve got God & Jesus there! Hey, they’ve got God & Jesus & hot cocoa!!” And she was sold! So I’m excited for today, we are going to go back again. This is a new routine I’m really looking forward to.

    Just to add another comment about what I think the people at that church are doing right, I would say that they do a wonderful job being the church that is needed by the people who live within a 5-10 mile radius. (although people also come from across town- like us- and even some come from the next few towns over.) The church does a lot of giving as well, they do the backpack give and I’m sure lots of other things for the community. But my most favorite thing about walking into the sanctuary last Sunday was the atmosphere I felt there. The presence of willing hearts was almost palpable in the air. And I thought, “This is a place where the spirit can move freely amongst the people.” And I really liked that. :-) . Have a great Sunday everyone!!

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