Yesterday I wrote about some wrong assumptions I’d made about contemporary, seeker-sensitive megachurches. To follow-up, I thought I’d explain some of what I’ve fallen in love with during my time around Southland and Crossroads.

I love free coffee. I mean, I really love it. I know at first it may seem like a waste to spend thousands of dollars and hours on something that’s not “ministry-related,” but it’s actually one of my favorite parts of going to church on the weekends. For me, coffee is much more than a drink. It’s a pivotal part of breakfast with my family. Most of my great friendships were built around it. Coffee, I think, communicates two things: community and welcome. It says, “we want you here.” (And, consequently, “God wants you here.”) Hospitality is a grace many of us have lost sight of, and I love being part of a church that extravagantly invests in making people feel at home. It’s just a reflection of God’s unreserved love.

I love having the freedom to be normal. I don’t mean mediocre, I mean normal. I spent a lot of years building a super-spiritual persona. Growing up, my church operated under the assumption that anyone serious about their faith should go into ministry. I heard a lot of people tell me God had big plans for my life. I was a “history maker.” I would impact thousands. So. Much. Pressure. Being around big churches has reminded me that most Christ-followers are just average people with jobs and families. If you have 10,000 people, you can’t assume they’re all called to church work. I realized I don’t have to be a missionary. I don’t have to spend my evenings in frenzied prayer. I can come home from work, make dinner, watch TV, and be blessed in it. I don’t have to be super-spiritual; I can just be who I am. Along with that, I love knowing I can take friends to church without them being totally freaked out.

I love knowing the Church isn’t dead. I’d be a flippin’ billionaire if I had a dime for every time I’ve heard something like this: “The American Church is dying. We need revival.” First of all, I’m not sure I even know what “revival” means. But if what we need is a people so in love with Jesus that their lives are changed and their cities are impacted, I think I’ve found it. I love being part of a thriving community that’s actually participating in God’s redemptive plan. People meet Jesus, the poor receive hope, captives are set free. God is on the move. The Church is not dead. (If you’d like a good example of what I’m talking about, watch the last two minutes of this video.)

So here’s the thing: no church is perfect. I realize, too, that a huge church is just not everyone’s style. I get that. I’m not trying to set megachurches up as some kind of perfect standard. But I am trying to counteract some of the rhetoric I hear flying around: “They’re too liberal. They’re ignoring our heritage. They have to be doing something shady with money. They drink beer. It’s cheap grace. It’s shallow.” I think if we took a minute to think about it, we’d see half of our accusations aren’t true and the other half don’t matter. Let’s think twice before we thoughtlessly criticize communities that are engaging our culture, bringing people to Jesus by the thousands, and doing it all with a spirit of generosity and excellence.

I’ll come back, then, to my original point: I love the Church. Even the weirdos. We’re a broken mess. But, we’re the redeemed, the beloved Bride of Christ. We’re part of something so much bigger than ourselves, bigger than our own little circles — let’s remember that.


  1. bex - August 31, 2012 @ 5:07 pm

    Thanks for this. I appreciate the awesomeness, seriously.

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