This was the first piece of art/photography I ever purchased.
It was a copy, not an original print, but I loved it. It is untitled, and it is found in a collection of works called "A More Perfect World" by an American photographer named Scott Mutter.
I bought it when I was in college and brought it with me when I was a youth pastor in York. It hung in our youth room for four years.
It was a reminder.
A church with out walls.
Where the street and the aisle are one.
Sometimes I think today the only thing that says welcome in the church is the church sign and only a sign. (Minus the pithy and trite sayings).
I recently spoke at a public high school in a World Religions class. I was to answer questions by the students on the Holy Spirit and the Pentecostal perspectives. They had lots of questions. Good questions. Tough questions. I tried my best.
We talked about speaking in tongues.
We talked about healing.
We talked about Jesus.
Love and fear.
War and peace.
Grace and sin (even some questions about sex, always a good discussion starter).
I've spoken there for over four years now, each class is unique, and similar, and brilliant. There were even a couple of classes in the past that asked me to speak in tongues on the spot. If you know me, you probably know how I responded to that question. It was a class about more than just the topic of the Holy Spirit.
This year was different.
Maybe I am different.
A student after the class asked me a question, more like a statement, that broke my heart.
She mentioned that she had been to church,
but felt like she didn't belong...
I smiled and had nothing to say.
In my head I thought Why?
This girl looked liked she could belong anywhere she wanted.
Beyond perceptions and projections. We all want that. A home. To belong. Accepted and loved.
To be who we are and discover who He is.
It's not in a formula.
It's not in a program.
It's not in a style.
I am not writing this to say I have church figured out. I am not writing this to bash church either. I am writing this because I am stirred...
As I travel down this road to start a church I have come to realize I have more questions than answers. I don't have it figured out. The process of writing and rewriting core values and vision seems impossible to nail down.
What I do know is this...
Its not written on a sign, but on the hearts of the people. You don't see it, you feel it. Know it. Experience it. It's real and honest. It's with you when walk in and stays with you when you walk out.
Whoever you are.
Whatever you do.
Whatever you have done.
Where street and the aisle are one.
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