So here’s the question that growing churches face. “How can you be a place that welcomes sick people, broken people, people with problems…without creating chaos for everyone else? How do you deal with the problems people bring with them? What do you do when their problems affect others around them? Do you apologize for them? Try to conceal the problem? Try to fix the problems with “niceness”?
At actionchurch we want to operate much like a hospital. We unapologetically welcome “sick” people, people with problems, people with issues! Can you imagine a hospital bragging that all their people were “well”? That wouldn’t be a very effective hospital would it? Part of being a hospital though, is that some aspects will be unpleasent. “Niceness” isn’t an option when people’s lives are at stake. Some very tough conversations have to happen if you truly love “sick” people. Messy situations will arise. Sometimes a patient will be out of control and harmful to others who are trying to become well themselves. If you love your patients…all of your patients… you will restrain or remove the patient that is harming others. There are some very unpleasant aspects to loving “broken” ,”sick” people…but all of the uncomfortable conversations and the chaos pale in comparison to the joy that everyone feels when someone becomes “well” and walks out into life a changed person…
And no, in the hospital analogy I don’t consider myself the “physician”. I’m not a doctor nor have I played one on TV…I’m more of the hospital administrator/security/janitor. I’ll leave the “doctoring” to the “great physician”.
10 Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. 11 But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum? 12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Mathew 9:10-12