Friday, August 26, 2011

Why Do Churches Have so Many Strange People?

Have you ever wondered why churches have some of the strangest people you’ve ever seen?  I had a lady tell me once that she had a ministry of keeping people humble.  Another lady told me that she has trained her pet dog to stand on its back feet to worship music and that he actually worships Jesus. Then there’s the guy who thinks he’s a prophet... like the kind they had in the Old Testament!  Let’s not forget the lady who likes to come down to the front and play her tambourine to slow songs.  I’ve seen it all.  Sometimes it seem like these characters are straight out of an Adam Sandler movie.

The reason why the church has unusual people is because we are on the only place that will welcome them.  These people will not be let through the doors of a nightclub, hotel, or restaurant; their behavior is too bizarre.  Yet the church has the greatest collection of colorful personalities because, deep inside, these people know that Jesus is for everyone… including them.   

The strength of the church is not about how many perfect people we have.  It’s not about having the cream of the crop.  The church is for outcasts as well.  A church that tries to create a perfect environment by eliminating strange people is practicing selective breeding.  Sure, people can get out of line sometimes, not behave, draw attention to themselves, and create distractions.  Yea, some people in the church are just plain weird.   But guess what?  That’s ministry.

At Pace Community Church we should consider it a sign of strength that we have so many colorful and interesting people.  They are from our community, our mission field, and are the very people Jesus died for.  We must welcome the people who are most overlooked.

My word today is simple:  Embrace the people Jesus died for, all of them.  There’s no other place that will accept them like the church.  The church is not only a waiting room for the saints, but a hospital room for the sick.  Nobody else wants them.

PS – Sunday’s message is entitled “The Parable of the Great Banquet” (from Luke 14) and addresses this very subject.  Come to hear God’s concern for marginalized people and those disenfranchised.  It’s going to be an eye-opener.

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