Hi, y’all. I’m honored that Jenny invited me over here to her bloggerhood. My name is Alyssa, and I run a little blog called Sieb Fam with posts ranging from light-hearted subjects like inexpensive DIYs to deeper topics like adoption and humanitarianism. Since Jenny told me I could write on any topic I want….dangerous, Jenny, daaaaangerous, I’ve written a post on something the Lord has been pressing on my heart lately. Thanks for reading!
A few months ago I finally read the classic “To Kill A Mockingbird”. My sister-in-law was due with my nephew who was to be named Eli Atticus after one of the main characters, so I figured it was time to find out what the hype was all about. There was one spot in the book that really got to me: a group of white church women were working to support a missionary in Africa while actively participating in racism in their home town and even ignoring the plight of an obviously innocent man convicted simply because of the color of his skin. While there is reeking hypocrisy in this illustration, there is also something else. There is the Christian club. The missionary is in, the convicted man is out.
We all want to feel like we belong. Garden clubs, country clubs, gangs, fraternities, even the girls-rule-boys-drool tree house clubs. Everyone wants to feel like they belong.
But what about a Christian club? We bond under the name of Jesus, right? Brothers and sisters together, right? But are we off? This is some ugliness that God has been undoing in my own life.
Social media is ripe with it. When a company promotes something we feel is unbiblical, we band together to boycott them. When a Christian-owned company seems to be oppressed because of the beliefs, we band together to keep them in business. When a fellow Christian is attacked because of their faith, we start petitions. And above all, we share it on Facebook and Twitter and everywhere possible- club members unite! Come out of the woodwork Christians, your club needs you.
But what are we really telling people? To me, it seems to scream: “You don’t belong! You’re not one of us!”
Clubs are formed for the good of the members. To serve them. But guess what y’all? Jesus didn’t die to form a club. He died to bring the lost to Him to form a Body. Then He gave that Body a mission: Go be His feet- Don’t just sit on your computer advocating; take the beautiful news of redemption and do life with people. Go be His hands- Don’t busy yourself making your club nicer and more tight, go love on people. Mutually encourage one another to love and good deeds. Get messy doing life with people. Not just because you want to make them a Christian, but because you are a Christian.
I just returned from a trip to Japan to visit a dear friend who moved there with her husband as missionaries. While Japan is one of the most unreached people groups when it comes to the Gospel, my girlfriend, her husband, and their church-planting team are not working to build a mega-church. They are far more interested in what they call “missional community”. In layman’s terms, this means that they aren’t splitting up evangelism and church activities. They spend their time doing life with their neighbors and their fellow Christians all in the same setting. They don’t expect people to join “their club” before integrating them into their lives. They’re having community meals with the people around them while opening up about the imperfections of their own personal lives. My friend told me, “I’m not interested in converting anyone. That’s God’s job.” Don’t get me wrong, she’s open and honest about the Gospel since it flavors her entire life, but her new friends know she loves them for them- not for the sake of trying to change them. And you should see how effected these people are. When she shares a recent struggle in her marriage; suddenly, in a culture of privacy, they are starting to be willing to open up about their own marriage. Like Jesus hanging with the prostitute and tax collectors, they can smell the aroma of Christ’s love.
I would never presume to be included in an exclusive garden club; Lord knows I don’t belong. But aren’t we basically doing the same thing when we set ourselves above others? By doing this, we make sure they know they don’t belong. Did we forget our roots? NONE of us belong. No. One. None of us have achieved some level of goodness that earned us a relationship with the God of the universe and secured our eternity with Him. None of us are able to stay pure enough to be part of that family. It’s not a Who’s Who Club of the Righteous. It’s all grace! ALL GRACE!
If we present ourselves as that messy, broken group that is the Body of Christ only because of HIM, then we will attract other messy, broken people which just so happens to be all of us.
So next time we share that link or that status, maybe we should ask ourselves if we just put out a club memo that excludes or a call for love that attracts the broken to the broken who are both desperately in need of grace.