I was asked to share about my trip to Honduras today during our staff prayer time.
Here are my notes...
A Hybels/Willow mantra is that “the local church is the HOPE of the world”
This got me thinking… what is the local church to me? and to my/our world.
Personally, the local church is:
a place of community/relationship
where I experience God in worship differently than in other experiences
where I receive teaching and am challenged to grow in my faith
where I have found purpose in using my gifts
The bad news is, that while these are all good and fine… these are pretty much all about me.
More globally, what is the local church to our "world?" and by that I mean America, the northwest in particular.
Statistics are everywhere on line, but about half of people believe in God but only 7% give positive comments regarding the Christian church. 20% of people view Christians negatively, 57% neutrally and only 17% positively
What I saw in Honduras was different and I am challenged and changed as a result.
The church there… it was a place of HOPE.
I heard a woman share her story of being healed of a tumor. 15 people made commitments to Christ in that service. This reminded me that God works in our lives for His glory. It also reminded me of the power of sharing our stories.
I watched a youth pastor living life with his students, investing in them in real one on one relationships. This reminded me of Kurt/Austin, Cliff/Kent and challenged me to be more open to this in my own life.
And I heard the story of a young, poor, simple pastor who is SO sensitive to the needs of the people in his community who are hurting and being abused that he is going to law school to become a lawyer so that he can bring hope as a part of his ministry there.
The church is not here to meet our needs. We are the church here to meet the needs of the world. - Erwin McManus