We as a church don’t exist to try to make you feel comfortable. In fact, our role has more to do with making you feel uncomfortable with where you are than to get you feeling comfortable.
A lot of time has been spent within churches trying to keep groups of people happy in hopes that they won’t leave the church and take their money with them. That may feel like a bold statement, but it’s true. Let me explain:
Churches build up a system and structure for doing business. As the church grows and more money comes in, more people’s (the staff of the church) financial stability becomes dependent on that structure. As the staff financial responsibility increases, so does the risk. After not too long, decisions start being made based on protecting the financial security of the staff instead of what’s best for the church.
How do you protect financial security? You keep people happy. You have to maintain the status quo that has been put in place. At best, you may try to push the boundary of what’s acceptable a little further down the road, but only until enough people voice their dissatisfaction at the change, and you pull back. So church becomes about keeping the people who are there happy instead of helping people grow.
It’s completely backwards from what church is supposed to be.
The church is a community of believers that pushes each other out of their comfort-zones and into and area of growth and possibility. The movement of Christianity didn’t happen by making people comfortable, it happened by people constantly stretching themselves and pushing the boundary.
In fact, I will say, if you are looking for a place to feel comfortable and never be pushed out of your comfort-zone, SixEight probably isn’t the church for you. There are plenty of other churches where you can go to blend into a sea of faces. But we have a mission.
We have a dream. We have a vision God has given to us. We want to be a church of disciples making disciple-makers. A disciple doesn’t just sit back on the couch sipping on a beverage. A disciple does stuff. And we want to be a church full of disciples who do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.
We want to be the kind of disciples who take a community and change it forever for the good. To do that we will have to get out of our own comfort-zones and we’ll have to get into the comfort zones of others in our neighborhood.
Does that mean we’re going to intentionally offend people? No. Are we going to get all political and carry protest signs? No. Are we going to make people feel bad for the kind of lives they lead? No.
We are going to share the gospel with our community and pray hard that God changes lives through the kind of lives we are leading. We want to be the living Gospel.
Are you comfortable? If you are, maybe it’s time to get outside the zone.