Is our church about the mission or is our mission about the church?
I am not a marriage counselor, but as a minister over the years I have noticed something about troubled marriages. You will hear phrases like: I am committed to this marriage; I don’t want to see this marriage fail; or I believe in this marriage. You hear talk about saving the marriage. On the surface it sounds great but there is something more subtle going on here.
When this language is used you are saying I believe in the institution of marriage, but I don’t know if I love him or her. In this scenario marriage is about the institution, not the person you professed “I do” too.
Marriage is about loving the one you are with unconditionally. What you want to hear is love, forgiveness, and dedication to the one you devoted your life too. Marriage as an institution relationally is lifeless and loveless. Marriage comes alive when love is directed to the one you have chosen to cherish.
I hate to admit it, I caught myself the other day doing the say same thing with C3. As I was praying over C3 I kept praying for the church. I kept saying I believe in C3 as a church- as an institution. In making the church my mission in my prayer life I was making the same mistake many bad marriages make.
I confessed and repented. This is not how Jesus set up His church- a lifeless and loveless institution.
It made me realize something. The church has a first love, Jesus, and Jesus gave the church a mission and not the other way around. We put the mission this way: We want to guide everyone into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Does C3 exist to accomplish the mission or is C3’s mission is keep doing “church?” The church is here to serve Jesus Christ and his desires- not ours. His first and foremost desire is for everyone to know him. This is why he died on the cross. Let us pray not for Celebration as a church. Let us pray Celebration achieves the mission. Let us pray we fall in love with the one who started Celebration, and honor His directive to make disciples by baptizing them and teaching them to obey his commands.