Rob Bell tells a story in his new book about how when he first became a pastor, a member of his church came up to him after a service said to him ‘If you want to see real church, go to an AA meeting’. So he went, and when it came to his turn, just said ‘pass’.
He said after a while he began to realise something.
It was a “bullshit free zone” (his phrasing).
No hiding. No being polite in front of people. No disguising your weaknesses. No protecting yourself.
Just owning who you really are. Being vulnerable. Making yourself naked before others. Admitting your dark side. No hiding.
As I began to reflect on this I realised this would be a great model for church.
We’ve all experienced or heard about churches where secrets are kept. Where people hide their weaknesses. Where fear of being exposed governs behaviour. It happens all too often in the modern church.
But this isn’t church. It’s a (more…)