Finishing our Discussion on Finding Church

For the last eighteen months a group of us have been working through the themes of Finding Church chapter by chapter. We are now reaching the end of that study.  The discussion, however, will remain up as other people can come along and start with chapter 1 and work through it now at their own speed. Our hope was to let people contemplate the content of each chapter and how that might impact their own lives as they seek to follow Jesus.

It has been a wonderful study with lots of contributions by others.  You can find out more here if you are interested.

One of the discussion questions I posed today goes to the heart of all of our journeys.  You might want to contemplate it in your own:

Perhaps the greatest barrier in our own relationship with Jesus as well as connecting to his church in the world is to lay down our own agendas and expectations to let him truly be in control of the process. That’s the most difficult obstacle for us humans to face. We’re afraid if we let go, we won’t get what we want. And that may be true, but the hope of the Gospel is, when we give up we’ll get something better than we were trying to hold on to because he does know best about everything.

In your spiritual journey, what agenda in your heart has been (or still is) the most difficult to recognize and lay down?

For me, it was wanting to follow Jesus AND get the overwhelming approval of other Christians around me. For nearly forty years I never saw the inherent conflict between those two things, but my need for significance nonetheless made me double-minded in a way that caused me to miss countless times the life Jesus was nudging me into.

Hopefully other people will share theirs and we’ll all see that we’re not alone in this journey. Letting Jesus be our Lord and Leader is far easier to confess than it is to do, and the toughest part may be recognizing the problem itself. Our need to control travels in many disguises including commitment and devotion. It feels like we are doing our part, when in fact we’re trying to do his. It will lead to endless frustration until we can embrace enough of his love to realize he has our best at heart and if he’s not fulfilling what we desire, it’s because he desires something better.  But laying down ours long enough to recognize his, is a great challenge is this journey.

2 thoughts on “Finishing our Discussion on Finding Church”

  1. My greatest challenge seems to be experiencing the need to wrap language around my journey. I didn’t realize it until I read your post. Paradoxically this is causing me to get caught up intellectually rather than just relaxing into his love, trusting the nudges. I have experienced relaxing into his love on my journey and it is beautiful. I don’t mean it has been a cake walk on a continuum, but it is really neat. I think without realizing it I think I should be doing more or be further along or something. I get stuck on needing to be a doo-bee. It gives me a false sense of security which once again leads me to self reliance rather than leaning into his love each day. Thanks for posting this..lightbulb went on as a result.

    You, Sara and family have been in our prayers here in the Midwest. We have been very concerned about all living in the area. We are grateful for your posts on Facebook knowing that you, family and friends are safe. Our hearts hurt for everyone affected.

  2. I think for me it’s been about understanding the heart of the message and learning to be myself while speaking in normal cultural language rather than bible-speak, etc, as I used bible-speak language to attempt to pry doors open or put a “hook” in a conversation. The manipulative religious roots can run deep. There’s a possibility I may occasionally go a bit far the other way now, but it’s not in order to relate or attempt to be relevant, it’s who I am, whatever that is. Hopefully it’s love.

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