It’s hard enough for a person to keep their own socks pulled up, let alone someone else’s. — Stephen King, The Stand
A few years ago, my daughter Annika and I were able to whitewater raft down the Nile River. Shortly after we took off, our boat leader said, “You can jump out and float down the river, if you’d like.”
Annika turned to me and said, “Let’s go!” So over the side we went.
Once I was on the outside of the boat looking in, I thought of hippopotami, alligators, and snakes. Annika was clueless, “Whoa, Daddy! This is so fun!” But me? My head was on the swivel, looking for danger and noticing that the current had caught our boat and carried it down river.
I felt alone and responsible.
Sometimes I feel the same way while leading my church.
The day gay marriage was legalized, I found myself in uncharted waters with two competing desires: one was to defend the biblical definition of marriage as one man and one woman becoming one person until death. I continue to stand by that.
But I also feel led by the Spirit to maintain loving lines of communication with everyone. I want to be open and available to all, including my gay friends. I recognize the Church needs to be a safe place – a community of faith to call home.
This tension can leave us feeling alone and responsible. Out of the wide spectrum of responses to this new season in our nation, how are churches to respond?
Hebrews 13:17 says that, as the body of believers, we can have confidence in our leaders and submit to their authority, because they “keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” And so the question becomes: What should a healthy church being led by Jesus look like? We get to answer that question this week as we comb through the last chapter of Hebrews.
Jesus, thanks for jumping in these uncharted waters with us. As we watch over each other in grace and love, it’s comforting to know You’re watching over us. Open our sense of understanding this week as we pore over the blueprints of a Jesus-reflecting church. Grow us in new ways. Amen.
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com
Renew your spirit for the year ahead!