Sinners Welcome Here: My Hope for the Church

Last fall, I was invited to be part of a Christianity Today International’s Hope for the Church project. An idea that encourages Christians to think more about what the church should be for, instead of against. I was happy to take part in this–especially since my role was simply to think up a hope (not hard, I have many!) and shares it with a camera crew for the video-project part of this. You can see the result here.

 

 

Of course, the soundbite version of this hope—that church is a place where all people are welcome—is easy to say, but hard to live out. And yet, it’s something that I’ve felt a pressing, urgent need for and a pressing, urgent calling toward for some years.

I share two stories in Mama’s Got a Fake I.D. that kicked off this calling. In one story, I find myself annoyed at a homeless man (!) sleeping on a pew before my brother’s wedding. Another is a story about me catching myself nearly scowling at a young woman in a rather provocative outfit at my own church.

In both instances, my conviction of my own sin and inhospitality in God’s house hit me hard (though, obviously I needed a couple of doses to really get the point!). Since then, I’ve been super aware of the ways we as a church ostracize. Sometimes in big ways–by seemingly non-stop public haranguing of certain groups. Sometimes it’s in small way–by simply not being a friendly church, by not saying hi to new people.

Whatever the way or the reason, I do hope that church becomes a place where all sinners are welcome. At least as welcome as all sinners are with Jesus.

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3 Responses to “Sinners Welcome Here: My Hope for the Church”

  1. March 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    I didn’t watch the video (I am not much of a video-watcher; I like to just read things) but your examples brought to mind the song “If We Are the Body” by Casting Crowns. I have always loved the song, but one time I saw a youth group in church act it out and it was a pretty powerful skit.

  2. March 20, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Caryn,

    Thanks so much for taking part in Hope for the Church, and for sharing this thoughtful challenge on your blog. We appreciate your support.

    Cory

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