class="fb-like" data-send="true" data-width="400" data-show-faces="false">

Friday, 5 December 2014

Premier Christian radio

Premier Christian radio

Check out our band playing Rend Collectives 'My Lighthouse' live on air this morning
Inspirational Breakfast - Friday 5th December 2014 07:00 am http://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Inspirational-Breakfast/Episodes/Inspirational-Breakfast132

You can also search for Lossa Cafe Church on Facebook to catch up on what the band and the cafe church are doing in the coming months.... A band Facebook page will follow soon.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The darkness seems safer than the light...

Have your ever found your heart saying that it just easier to stay broken, to stay low, to stay in the darkness... Than it is to accept healing, stand up, and walk into light? Sometimes stepping into the light can be scarier than sitting in the deepest darkness possible, because sometimes that means a whole restructuring of who we are, what we believe about the world and ourselves, and the creation of a whole new identity for ourselves.

Even in the day to day things like forgiveness, it can seem simpler to live with underlying anger and resentment, than to forgive and walk in the light. Perhaps because if we forgive them it seems like we are saying that it was okay for that person to have treated us that way when it clearly wasn't, or it can feel like they are just getting away with whatever they did without facing the consequences. So we stay in the darkness of unforgiveness and usually find at the end of the day it is ourselves that looses out in the end because chances are that person will eventually forget about it and move on, yet we will still be left bitter and damaged until we finally realised that we need to follow Christs example... and forgive... Then not only do we free that person, but our own shackles will removed and we will be free from that dark cloud.

What is scary is that even in the bigger things... Like the real life or death stuff... We can become so misguided that we believe that living in darkness is less exhausting than living in the light due to the process that walking into the light would involve. It can be extremely daunting to imagine all the work that needs to be done in our hearts, our relationships, our faith journey, if we are to recover from a mental health issue such as addictions, self harms etc.. It can so easily feel like we are completely alone - but we are by no means alone. But it's true that these things don't have an over night cure or a drug we can take that fixes everything. They involve a day by day struggle to choose life and freedom. Ups and downs. Highs and lows. So is it really worth the hassle of all that?? What would people think if I showed who I really was?? Perhaps I'll stay in the darnkess???

Well... if the freedom that Jesus talks about is anything to go by then I would argue it is worth EVERY SECOND, every potential failure, every set back, every tear... Perhaps even potential relationship losses, or reputation damage if you dare to remove the mask of 'wellness' you show to the world...


Whatever the cost... FREEDOM is the prize... Jesus holds your victory. He's already done it for you so you can be assured and hold fast to the promise that if you trust him to walk you through the valley of recovery... You will come out the other side as a new creation. Let's together live in the light of HOPE if nothing else. HOPE + FAITH = FREEDOM.

There IS freedom for the captive. For the prisoner. For the broken. For the grieving. For the poor.
For YOU.
For ME.
Begin the journey. Take only those with you that you know love you and will be with you the whole way no matter what. And pray daily for Gods help, strength, armour, love, and victory.

Watch the video below and be inspired that you could be the next story of restoration ...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYpBgJHmGmw

 

Friday, 15 August 2014

FREE & FEARLESS (Detling Celebration 2014)

6 days ago the coach was boarded, the tents went up, the anticipation rose, the pink hair dye came out, and the rain POURED. It looked like all the ingredients of a long (damp & smelly) week at Detling Celebration 2014!! It had already been a long week for me after flying home to see my beautiful sister walk down the aisle and say "I do" to her now hubby (bizarre) & so personally I felt no more ready to sleep in a flooded field than I did to run a marathon! But as myself, MANY teenagers, 3 kids, and a load of other adults from Saint Stephens church settled into camp life, God in the way only God does, intervened and got a hold of us all.
As the week progressed we were stretch and challenged as a group and as individuals, who all now have stories of how God spoke to them in various ways. One thing is for sure... No one left untouched by their King.

Personally God had some business to do with me. Some heart repair work. Another lesson in acknowledging His grace and His provision.. And accepting the love He has for me in abundance. 
The theme for the year was 'Free & Fearless'!! A fearless freedom to love perfectly, to face our giants,  to know our God, to go & serve, to heal, to choose, to forgive... And fearless freedom to STAY free!! 
Freedom is not something we can have fully without first relinquishing fear from our lives. When Jesus declared on the cross... "It is finished"... we were free from the ultimate fear... Death! He defeated death when He died on the cross for us, and rose 3 days later... And so if we can be free from the fear of death... we have no cause to fear ANYTHING else on this earth. Once we fully grasp that truth... We can be free once and for all from the 'stuff' that binds each of us up & hinders us from living a life worth living - the life God called us to live & the people God created us to be.

A thought that has been going around my head lately is this... What would AWESOME Becky look like? If I'm called to be Gods child & He has a perfect & rich plan for my life... Then it must be awesome. It must be the most awesome version of my life ... So what would it look like? Personally I know in my heart that the first & possibly only key part of that 'awesomeness' in order to live out with vigor my Mercy Ministry vision... lies in that one word... FREEDOM. You cannot be free without fearlessness... And you cannot offer freedom to others without first possessing freedom for yourself... & so as the bible tells us over & over again (~365 times - one reminder for every day in the year)... DO NOT BE AFRAID! For "We have nothing to fear except fear itself".
Well... that sounds like an impossible thing to achieve right?! & I'm the first to admit that I am not without fear of a whole host of stuff... (like my future for example)... But take heart... Eric Delve one of the speakers this week shared his wisdom with us on this dilemma & I found this statement very helpful... 'It's not that you won't necessarily feel fearful... But rather that you can choose not to let it control you'. For me, I find that much more achievable.
If we spend time getting to know God & also getting to know ourselves as children of God, then we can achieve this. If you know who you belong to, who is on your side, the price he paid for you, & the grace he gives you afresh each day... You can be free to serve him without fear.
It doesn't matter how broken you are, how many mistakes you've made, how small you think you are in this world, or whether or not you think God can use you... Because if I've been reminded of one thing this week it is that Gods grace is much greater than any of my insecurities. We are in fact qualified by our disqualifications. My mission is to broken women... And I come from a place of knowing some of that brokenness... Which without experiencing myself, I would therefore have no power to help the women I have, am or will minster to. My brokenness and unworthy feelings are exactly what God wants to use. How incredibly humbling is that?? Doesn't that make it all worth it?? I certainly think so.
So we must be honest about our brokenness with the world, because we are all in the same boat just with a different set of circumstances. We are all in a world that throws challenges at us daily! Someone this week said this... "If you are still impressive, you haven't shared enough". Unless you & I are willing to show each other that to some extent we understand each others struggles because of where we have been ourselves.. How can we possibly begin to explain to another that God understands their pain & has a good & pleasing & perfect will for their lives?
We can't. 

If God is worth anything, then he has to be worth EVERYTHING. My conviction cannot be small... If I truly believe that God has done what the bible says He has done for me... Then I have no other option than to spend my whole life & every part of it in devoted, fearless service to Him. 
Whatever your giant is that you are letting control you... choose for yourself today.. Who will you serve? 

So for the glory of God, for myself, & for those that I will minister Gods perfect love to... I CHOOSE to face my giants with the king of kings by my side, because he wants me to be AMAZING Becky.
Will you?

What has God called you to do? & what does the freedom to do that look like for you?
How do we become free? We become fearless.
How do we become fearless? By getting to know God, by getting to know ourselves (WHO & WHOSE we are), by understanding & accepting Gods open ended grace, & by CHOOSING to run the race with determination. 
Matthew 6:25-34


Some of our wonderful youth this week said this about the week....

"God taught us to stick together no matter how hard it is."

"Detling is a wonderful experience and is a god place to meet new people who are in the same boat as you! It is a great place to worship god and stick and grow stronger with people."

"Well that I think also he's taught us to also stick up for ourselves as well as each other"

"I've been taught to believe in myself more, be who I am and not to worry about what others think. Its also brought me closer the the people who mean a lot! Great opportunity to meet new people, and worship god in a fun but not boring way! Everyone makes you feel happy, comfortable and overall an AMAZING experience, can't wait to see everyone next year!!"

"No matter what happens, or how bad your sins are, god will always be there for you to help through the bad moments"

"I got the chance to pray and let god into my life, with a very inspirational woman- Arianna Walker"

"When I spoke to one of the youth leaders she said god spoke to her to speak to me and she said i act differently with friends than who I am alone. This really made me think and i'm going to find the real me :) xxx"

"I gained the confidence to pray with people"

AMEN to a great week!!!
B xx



Monday, 7 July 2014

Temporary Home(s)...

I am currently on a Megabus (travelling in style always) from Durham with my final destination being Essex hopefully before the clock strikes 12.
I lived in the beautiful city of Durham for 4 years during which I was a student and later an intern at Kings church Durham; working in a women's prison and growing in leadership alongside the other 8 interns. I returned to Durham this weekend to see one of the beautiful intern girls getting married - what a wonderful wedding it was and such a privilege to still be involved in her life and the lives of the others on the team. I shall be returning for a whole series of weddings over the next while which is exciting.
The weekend consisted of wedding joy, Abba tribute banter in the rain (although I'm convinced it was the real abba), jamming on the beach, a morning in my old church, lunch out with an old housemate, an epic car adventure, and lovely catch ups with Bex and Claire who I worked in prison with and whom I adore. So not only was it such a blessing to be able to catch up with the old interns (or should I say 'externs') but there are many amazing people in Durham who I very much see as my family, and was able to spend some time with. It is a place of biblical hospitality for sure, and I learn so much from being there. Being able to worship on Sunday morning in kings church is also something which I hold as a huge blessing and it was beautiful to see how many people were still interested in my life and wanted to come and chat and say hello, and I had so many questions to ask them all. It's crazy (and kinda scary) to think it's been a whole year since leaving.
Basically Durham has my heart. Arriving there makes me teary and nostalgic... and I instantly feel like I am home and safe.

What is funny however is that I now have several places in which I call 'home' and it is VERY confusing for my brain to compute. This time the journey home although very sad, simply means exactly that... It's the journey HOME. God has blessed me with a feeling of comfort and joy in Essex that I wasn't convinced was coming. As you might have read from my last post, I have a beautiful home, life giving friends, and a ministry that I love... I have so much to be thankful for.
In 4 weeks time I will also head back to Northern Ireland for my sisters wedding. Yet another return 'home' to where friends and family remain, and with whom I wish I got to spend far more time with.

                              
Home is in three places for me. It's difficult, but it's beautiful. Blessed does not begin to cover it.

The only downside of your home being in 3 places is that sometimes it can feel like you don't actually belong anywhere or with any one group of people. Belonging in several places and fully belonging anywhere, don't really go together. I don't really have a base that feels permanent, sure, or secure. But I'm beginning to feel as though that is an okay thing. Although hard, it keeps life fresh, exciting, full, and eclectic. Each place is so so different. Each place has it's difficulties and it's triumphs. Each place holds a different piece of my heart. In many ways I do long for one place that I know I'll be in 5 or 10 years time, rooted and settled, and it saddens me to keep leaving people behind that I really love, and places like Durham that are so breathtaking. But what I do know and am learning at the moment, is that we are not called to feel like we necessarily belong somewhere. I don't need to be attached anywhere specifically, and I am incredibly lucky to find acceptance, love and peace in 1 place let alone 3.

One day I am going to belong to ONE place and one place ONLY. In fact I belong there already. One of my favourite songs is called 'My temporary home' and it talks about earth being a Christians stop off point. A space for maybe 80years or so in which we are 'IN the world but not OF the world'... Knowing that one day we will be in heaven with our God... Enjoying the permanence of His Kingdom and the fellowship of souls who will join you in singing praises to God forever. No fears, no loneliness, no fragility, no pain, no suffering, no goodbyes... Just a constant God, a constant family, and a place to call home.

Durham, Essex, Northern Ireland... Not only are they all temporary places in earthly terms for me that I have spent a number of years in and moved on from... But they are temporary in terms of where I am headed... They are 'windows and rooms that I'm passing through'. They are 'just a stop on the road to where I'm going and I'm not afraid because I know, this is my temporary home'...




Sunday, 22 June 2014

The kinder egg surprise . . . Don't be satisfied with just the egg!

It has been a while since I have sat down to write a blog post regretfully - the busyness of life seems to take over so much at times, which has been the season I've been in recently (but in a good way)!
In fact that is somewhat leading to the topic of this post - Part of the busyness has been that I have once again moved house (but just locally) and been setting up home with a wonderful new friend. This has been one of the greatest blessings God has given to me for quite some time and I am so very grateful. A few months back before I met the girl I am living with, I heard god say to me that I was going to move in with her (that sounds a bit bonkers I know - particularly as I was living in a very lovely home with lovely people and for a lot less rent than I am paying now; but I've come to learn that what is practical is very rarely gods intention). So anyway I finally met up with her and explained this to her... Only to discover she was more than up for it and felt a very similar way. So after meeting each other another few times (only to house hunt) we signed a house in faith that god would provide not only money, but a lasting friendship which would work despite us actually not knowing very much about each other at all.

What is incredible is that god has not only made it 'work well'... But He has provided the most beautiful haven for us - I feel more content than ever before and I know that we were meant to live together. Gods grace never ceases to amaze me. Not only this but so many other areas of my life have come into fruition of late, and god is speaking to me and revealing his purposes daily.


Another wonderful friend a few months back brought a prophesy to me that had woken her up in the middle of the night and she felt she had to bring it to me. Then it made a bit of sense... But now I can see it for all it was intended to promise to me. She brought me a kinder egg...(Legend - love when prophesies come with chocolate)... And she told me that what god has said to her for me was this... 'Like a kinder egg, sometimes you think the egg is the surprise and the exciting bit because let's face it ... It's chocolate. But then you open it up and inside there is so much more to be enjoyed. Often however this bit inside needs to be pieced together and worked at before you know exactly what it is...and this takes patience and understanding'. The message was clear... Do not be satisfied with just the egg.

So when god revealed to me that I was to make a move which was not particularly convenient but could possibly bring more joy and depth to the purpose of my time in Essex...I knew I had to say yes and follow him into the unknown. And having obeyed him and sacrificed what I needed to, he has given me more than I could have imagined or hoped for.

That is the god I serve. A god who not only blesses us with great things, but who wants to give us even more. Who wants us to be fully satisfied and to enjoy life completely to its fullest. Who has plans for us beyond what we could muster up... And who, if we only say yes when he asks us to be brave and bold and go against what seems logical, will provide for our every need.

Now it would be great and comfortable for us to delight in our friendship and the beautiful home & security that God has provided for us both just when we needed it... but that would not be doing justice to God. Now that we have been put together we are seeking to find the greater purpose of that. We have a similar vision for young women and setting them free, and therefore we know that God put us together for a reason. We are ALWAYS blessed by God in order that we might be a blessing to others, and this is true to the extent that we have been blessed as individuals in order to bless each other. However I believe we have received these blessings in order to be a blessing to a larger number of women. We are praying that these purposes would become clear. What we don't know is whether this will become clear this year... or perhaps a long time into the future. Whatever season those purposes ... we are committed to finding them, and when it comes about... we are committed both as individuals and a pair... to fulfilling that mission together one day.

So my prayer for you as you read this testimony, is that you will look at your life, examine your circumstance, & ask yourself if there are areas in your life in which you are because of practicality, security, or whatever the motivation... Allowing yourself to settle for just the egg. If you are... I want to challenge you to seek out what more god might have in store for you, and to work with him in order that you might fully enjoy the wholeness of the blessings he wants you to reach out and grab. And in turn, that you might seek to find the greater purpose for those blessings you receive. Perhaps you already feel remarkably blessed and provided for... in which case AMAZING - now go out and find how you can use those things to give to others and fulfill God's purpose for your life.


There is only one way to live the life that god created you to live... Listen to your god, and take a risk... I promise you it will be worth it... & God promises you more than your could imagine possible.
<3

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Mind Boggling Life Questions...

So I was recently drawn into the dangerous realm of one of the world's seemingly unanswerable questions (or at least answered only disappointingly & without satisfaction). So if you haven't already been mind boggled by this gem... beware!! (Especially if you are a Disney enthusiast like myself)!

If Pinocchio said, "My nose will grow right now", what would happen?
Hold the phone..!
I don't know what you think about this question. Whether you think you hold the key to the answer. Whether or not you have a clever witty response. Whether your mind boggles like mine does. Or whether it just frustrates you to your core.
But this got me thinking about all the other questions in my life that are just unanswerable. Things that my mind reels and reels over, until I'm so frustrated that I give up trying to answer it.
When it comes to questions of faith, I constantly wrestle over whether or not this 'give up trying to answer it' response is an acceptable one. And to be honest, I think I've concluded that this is okay. I'll tell you why.

Personally I have come to know that I just don't have the capacity to know everything about God and my faith. This is not a get out clause to not bother to try and find out... and actually the theology I did on my internship last year really helped to secure my faith, and as a Christ follower I have a hunger to know as much as I can particularly so that I can then help other people to understand my faith and hopefully their faith. Certainly Hebrews 11:1 for example tells us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen,” but that doesn’t mean that we accept a 'child-like faith' that we often speak of but which the Bible doesn't actually teach. True faith, is “assurance” and “conviction,” ... not blind belief. We start with a child-like faith for sure, but we must seek to mature into faith that leads to certainty and assured confidence. 1 Corinthians 3:2 says this; "I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren't ready for anything stronger. And you still aren't ready". We need to pursue this solid food.

But... at the end of the day, God is so much bigger then me (understatement of the century)... and so I can't possible fit all of God's and the world's complexity into my tiny (probably smaller than average) brain... there has to be a limit and level of acceptance of these limits. Isaiah 55:9 says this; “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts".
His thoughts and ways are higher than ours... we cannot comprehend them all. So when we ask those really difficult and complex questions about suffering and why it happens, about heaven and hell, about predestination, or Pinocchio's nose... I am happy to hold my hands up and say... "I don't know"... I'll maybe ask God one day... although I think if I'm in the presence of the God of the Universe, I might not be so bothered.

There is no human, earthly way of explaining many of the phenomenons in our world. Science cannot show that two people love each other. It is simply a tool that we use to uncover facts about the observable universe. So here’s a fun fact: Science is not omniscient. It cannot answer all of our questions. My conclusion is therefore is that there must be a creator - one who knows it all and has His hand firmly over this world in all its complexity. It reminds me of this quote by CS Lewis...“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
...Perhaps too, if we find ourselves with questions that no earthly answer can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made by someone bigger than this world.

I find this entirely freeing. I don't need to have all of the answers. No one does and so my mission is simply to follow Christ as best as I can and to invest in my relationship with my creator, trying my best to wrestle with life's questions as and when I face them.

So whilst I might not be able to get my head around the Pinocchio conundrum... I will still sit back and enjoy watching that little puppets nose grow everything he lies, with great pleasure and delight. And in the same way even though I cannot tell you why 'bad things happen to good people' or what 'heaven looks like'... I will still praise and worship my God with joy and assurance in my heart because I have experienced God's love and His hand on my life.
My prayer is that you too will be able to put down those questions which stop you from moving further along your journey of discipleship and relationship with Christ, and put your hands up to the realisation that you are a lot smaller than He who made you!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

The Unexpected Nudging from God

I don't know why I still doubt those moments that my gut just seems to tell me to 'speak to that person', to 'give them that book' or 'that amount of money', to 'pray with that lady' or to 'send them that verse'.
It's a feeling like no other, and I KNOW that it is God. I've experienced these feelings before many times, and great things have come from them when I've acted and followed God's 'voice'... but nope - I still doubt and question it. So I'm writing down the most recent occasion, so that perhaps next time I'll not be such an idiot!

It is when it costs ME that I am reluctant to do anything about it, and I am happy to question the instincts I have, or rationalise it as just a thought I had and oh...look... the opportunity has passed.
I've had many of these moments over the past 7 years that I've been following Christ, and every time I ignore it, I leave deflated at my sheer rubbishness... and every time I act upon it... God does GREAT things.
When it seems that that hunch might leave me vulnerable to the 'you are a lunatic' stare or the 'quit talking about your imaginary man in the sky' remark, or I am expected to give something that I hold dearly, in return for what appears to be quite probably nothing... my human nature twitches and often makes terrible excuses for its disobedience.

But that 'quite probably nothing' in return, is very far from that in reality. It is 'quite probably something huge' that we get in return. That feeling of having been used by God is so incredible and so worth the occasional times in which it maybe doesn't quite go as planned.
On my way back to Southend-on-sea after a Christmas spent at home in the land of green, to be honest I was more than upset to be leaving my friends, family and home comforts yet again. So needless to say I was feeling mightily deflated.
So it was a rather inconvenient time I thought, for God to put that oh so butterfly type nudging feeling in the pit of my stomach. I was very happy wallowing in self pity thank you very much.
Regardless, I felt God tell me to put down the book I was reading 'Tim Keller: The Reason for God', and speak to the guy sat next to me who had said "Hi" briefly at the beginning of the flight, and had later pointed out the clouds and how high up we were. Being very British, I resisted God's voice momentarily, and then when the butterfly feeling didn't go away I thought... fine, I'll stop reading God, but he has to speak to me first.
Oh my word I am so ridiculous!
But that is the truth of it... and true to form, the guy did turn round to chat to me. He had noticed the book I was reading, and he was struggling with his own faith, and questions of God which didn't seem to reconcile with his experience of life... he wanted and needed to chat. He said he felt like God had placed us beside each other on that plane in order to give him the motivation he needed to go to church and to try to wrestle with his questions and hopefully find his way back to God. I pray for him every time I think of him, and I'd love if you could pray for him right now (doesn't matter that you don't know him - God knows).
The phrase that broke my heart was when he said at the end - "Aw man, I have so many more questions.. I wish we'd have chatted to each other earlier!"... AH!! Me and my terrible stubborn and self pitying ways.
But God is good and He did orchestrate that meeting, and I hope and believe He is doing good things in that young guys life as a result.

The point is, I should have been looking out for that opportunity anyway. As soon as I felt God speak I should have gone with it regardless of the possible rejection. I need to remember back to other times God has used me and given me those feelings and just run with it. But I don't because I'm so often afraid of the cost.
I hope that next time I won't miss out on any of these opportunities. I am ready for that next unexpected encounter God has laid out for me!

And what did I get in return?? Even if we remove the very obvious fact that it helped the guy who I was able to speak with... Was it still worth me reading less of my book and chatting??
Of course!
I received myself an immeasurable amount of encouragement. I was able to experience God using me. I was able to focus on someone else and not on myself (which is always good). I was encouraged that God was going to use me in Southend and that He had a plan for every moment - even the plane ride to and from.
The humbling part is, that even if I miss the opportunity, God will not then leave the person I was supposed to minister to, to flounder. He would have spoken to that guy another way or through another more willing person. He was simply offering for me to have the privilege to be a part of His plans. Why would I want to miss that?
This is great news for those times that we do fail to follow through on what God has set up for us to partner with him in, and the times we have let the cost swallow up the benefits. It means that those people we were supposed to bless, will not have lost out because of our failings. That in my view, wouldn't be God. But this is also not then an excuse to not bother because 'sure someone else will do it'. Why on earth would you NOT want to be a part of God's ministry here on earth? It's what our temporary time here on earth is all about. God, the creator, offers us partnership in the Kingdom here on earth. Crazy!

God is incredible. I for one am going to be on the look out for those special anointed times that God sets up to encourage and help both the 'someone else', and ourselves by default.
This is an appropriate time for a... #ThanksJesus
;)

Friday, 24 January 2014

The church is a hospital...

'The church is a hospital...'

This is a common cliche phrase which I've heard used a lot recently in churches and congregations all over the place. 'The church is a hospital...for the broken', is usually how the phrase ends.
This is an unbelievably true statement... but I want to focus in on it a bit and debate it with myself (and perhaps with you), because I think that although there is a clear truth in it's theology and sentiment, it is also flawed in the way it is used at times.
Yes. Fundamentally I want to say "AMEN!" to this statement. The church is a hospital for the broken. TRUE! We are all (with no exception), flawed, broken, hurting... sinful. Therefore the church is a hospital for us ALL. It is where broken people like you and me, come together to worship our creator and to live the journey of life among the  caring and wonderful community of His people.
Great.
But here is my issue.
I want to very carefully suggest that perhaps recently this phrase has been flung about as a bit of an excuse for us to sit around and become comfortable in our discomfort.
When we talk about broken people in this context, I'm not sure we are really including everyone as we perhaps should - it's like we are saying healthy people don't need the church which is obviously untrue. I think that we are possibly (let me be careful here), using this analogy as an excuse to be more broken that perhaps we ought to be. We get stuff wrong, we act in an ungodly manner, we are selfish; dwelling on our own struggles while mostly ignoring others or at least the grace of God which offers us freedom, & and we fail to reflect Him as we should... so we flippantly cover our bases and say; 'But the church is a hospital for the broken of which I am one'.
Hm.
Are we using this as an excuse to be more broken, or at least to remain broken? Or am I just over analyzing?
In my opinion (which might well be very wrong) perhaps some of the time we are doing just that. In reflection, I think I too am personally guilty of this.

Yes of course the church is and should be a place for those who are broken, captive, struggling, hurt, and wrestling with the big questions of this life, to come freely into, and to be honest,open and frank with others, finding people who will love, support, and walk alongside them. But this does not mean that the church should be made up only of people who find themselves in this difficult place in their lives.
The point of the body of Christ, is for broken people to come to find healing and restoration, with the help of those who are STRONG and RESTORED ministering to them and pointing them to Jesus.
I find the beginning of this analogy quite uncomfortable actually... it usually is coupled with 'The church is not a museum for good people'. The way this is phrased sounds like being good is a derogatory and negative thing. I get the sentiment and I know what it is trying to say. But shouldn't we all be aiming for this 'goodness'? Why can 'good' people not enter in and share their joy too??

In a hospital you do not only find broken, injured and sick people. You find nurses, doctors, cleaners... all sorts. Those who help mend and heal all those who enter in broken and wounded by life. How on earth do a group of people who are all broken and despairing... encourage and build up each other?
Most likely they don't.
They will more than likely, unknowingly and unintentionally, cause one another to stumble further, and facilitate their community remaining just as broken as when it first formed.

Of course I am not by any means saying that there needs to be people in your church community who are squeaky clean and with absolutely no problems in their lives. Because this is not the reality of life. It is in fact not possible. And that was my first point that actually the hospital for the broken at some level is perfectly true because we are all inherently broken as humans. Even in a hospital, many of the doctors and nurses will have their own ailments and sicknesses along the way... however they would still be well and strong enough to help their patients. We can be struggling, but still be strong.

I have played various roles in the churches hospital over the years.
I have most certainly been the patient, the sick one in need of someone stronger to help point me towards my healing and restoration... Jesus. I reflect often on the necessity of those people in such times, and I have a great deal of thankfulness in my heart towards God and those individuals who were able to help carry me and bring me through those times.
However, I think that now in this time as a Christian leader I am being called into the role of the nurse. I have been made stronger, in order that I might help those who are feeling weak. I am not perfect, I do not have life sorted, there is still a great deal in my life I struggle with, and I do still need a few choice individuals to lift me up every now and again... But I am at a point in my life whereby it does not consume me, and I have grasped the strength which comes from Christ, enabling me to lift others up, and be the one to encourage and carry them in their time of need.

Perhaps (and it is very likely), I will become the patient again in the future be it near or far... but I am struck by the challenge that I must not take this hospital analogy of church and apply it to myself to the point that I accept that the church is for the broken and therefore declare over myself that I am broken and will remain broken.
That is not the Christian message of the gospel I don't think.


The Christian message is of healing.
Come to know Jesus... and find your healing, strength, and restoration in Him.
Come to know Jesus... and you will be made strong in order to minister to the weak.
Come to know Jesus... and become the doctors and nurses in your church hospital.

So really, I do actually agree with this statement even though I just ranted and tore it to shreds. At the core and basics of this statement, I do totally agree that the church is like a hospital for the broken. I just think it is necessary to note that in a hospital there are many roles. And in a hospital people do get well. Let's be expectant that we will not stay entirely broken. But that our brokenness might become strength through Christ who offers us a renewal of body, mind and spirit.

What role is God calling you into now?? Do you need the help of stronger brothers and sisters in Christ?? Or can you provide the strength for someone else, and carry them in a time of trouble??

Listen to this talk by Arianna Walker from Mercy Ministries...
http://www.new-wine.org/resource/1346?utm_content=buffer16930&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer