Growing up I attended a strict Christian school. Guidelines were everywhere. I knew exactly how I was doing by where I fell inside the guidelines. I’m not talking just rules- I mean attitude, behavior, dress code, timeliness, work ethic, ect… I was being molded by a very strong hand and I didn’t even realize it because I had nothing else to compare it to.
But I was a good kid. And I excelled at coloring inside the lines.
As an adult I have continued to excel at coloring inside the lines in whatever area I’ve been assigned. In work, in ministry, in relationships even. In my early twenties I was on staff at a large Baptist church and I thought that that would give me some experience and insight into moving here and working with house churches.
It has not helped me out a bit! Because I’ve realized that I don’t have a coloring book here…! I have a canvas.
I have kept looking for a “how to” book on starting a church so that I could make sure I wasn’t messing up- which is a completely fear based mentality. But the Father continues to lay those fears to rest in ways that illuminate my heart again and again to the truth that I am loved beyond belief. And because of that Fatherly assurance I am finding new ways to pass that truth on to others.
There is not just one way to do community or fellowship or pursue the Lord. Can you imagine how boring that would be if everything was simply black and white? But it’s not! And that’s where the canvas comes in… There is so much freedom and space and colors to use in how this church is being stitched together. The atmosphere is charged with what seems like a million electrons that are about to culminate and splash onto this white sheet of canvas in a masterpiece of colors, personalities, giftings and passions; all for the one purpose of loving God together as a family of believers.
As a house church we are being called to step into the reality that “church” was never meant to be a building; but a people. God is redefining some words in my life; the same way He’s redefining what it looks like to paint and to color.
On Sunday we were discussing Jonah and how in the belly of the fish he had finally come around to saying yes to God. He went to Nineveh, preached and then sat down outside the city to see what God would do to it. He was hoping that they would be destroyed.
Jonah was used by God but by the time that he had preached and was sitting outside of the city walls- he was living off of a day old surrender. He had said yes to God in one thing and at one point in time, but his willingness was getting older by the second.
I want to be a living, breathing, yes. And as I say yes to letting go of the safety and simplicity of doing things “by the coloring book…” I am embracing a whole new way to paint, a whole new way to be a part of church and a whole new adventure in following Christ.
Because you see, at the same time that the church became a canvas- I became a canvas for Him to work on as well. And I say, “Color me crazy. Let’s do this thing.”