We Are the Church

My earliest recollection of church is of my grandma taking me to mass on a steamy hot, summer afternoon. I passed out somewhere between “Thy Kingdom Come” and “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread.” There was a lot of kneeling and standing, what can I say?

Minus a few weddings, it was years after that fainting spell before I found my way back to church. Jesus met me there, claimed my heart, and we began a beautiful relationship. God’s house became my home away from home—a place to find fellowship, grow under sound teaching, and step out in faithful service.

I long for those simpler times.

The face of church has changed. Perhaps it’s the fast-paced-forward-motion of a social media generation that has foregone meaningful conversation. Maybe it’s under the pressure to have more, be more, and keep up with the folks next door that we have stopped being real.

I have stared across the landscape of the church community and seen broken and lonely souls search for safety and sanctuary. Looking in from the outside, they wonder if they could ever belong. Glancing around on the inside, they long to fit in.

Women feel isolated and alone in their struggles. They bear the weight of broken marriages and divided families afraid to admit any shortcoming lest they be judged by the “perfect people.”

I have seen pretense and perfection overrun grace. Rushing and ritual bury warmth and genuine fellowship. Branding and business replace authentic connection. Ministry and service become pedestals instead of avenues to glorify God.

Who wants to draw near to something that seems so untouchable?

We all fall prey. We run into church, more concerned with getting our usual seat than welcoming the person next to us. Gathering with our girlfriends over coffee, warm and filled, we pass by the lonely woman just a table away. Worn weary in our own battles, we hold our chin high and pronounce ourselves “just fine” instead of admitting we crave help.

We crave fellowship – connection – camaraderie that gives us permission to be imperfect and misunderstood. We want the women that we admire to also be the women that will take us under their wing and tour us across the landscape of a faith that has proven itself true through the everyday race of life. We want the women who claim the cross to also bear it along with us.

That is the woman I want to be.

Daughters of the King, we must to be mindful of our heritage. We who are adopted, forgiven, and ravaged by grace should pay it forward. We need to stop competing, end the comparing that tears us apart, and instead link arms and complete one another.

Our lineage demands that rather than look down on the hurting and label them as weak – we kneel beside them and call them sister.

We need to share our hearts, invite the onlookers into our lives, and show them that the faith we proclaim fuels the path that we walk. We need to:

  1. Pray Up: We women are great at covering our hurt in ribbons and bows, aren’t we? Let’s ask God to open our eyes to see passed the exterior to hearts in need. Let’s be the woman we long for – Spirit lead, alert, and mindful of those who need a friend to ease their burden or just share in their joy.
  2. Reach Out: Let’s invite women into our lives – because they might be too scared to ask us into theirs. Maybe a few welcoming words or a cup of coffee graduates to lunch and a bible study invitation. We start small and God will fan the flames of friendship with His purpose.
  3. Speak In: We must be honest, real, and authentic in order to speak truth into one another’s lives. We can all Google the perfect scripture – what we need is each other. Let’s hold one another up, confess our shortcomings, celebrate our victories, and witness together how God is moving in our lives.

We are the church.

We are the hands and feet of Christ—the tangible evidence of the goodness of God in the land of the living. Lives are waiting to be touched by us.

Perhaps you feel too small to impact another life. Remember that a mighty God goes before you. You don’t need a platform or a position to effect change. God can do incredible things with one willing heart committed to Him. Your small beginning could measure big change in one life, one church, one community.

Let’s be brave. Let’s wear our courage as a badge of honor, pinned by the God who wants to use us to begin a beautiful chain of events.

We can be the sanctuary for the heart in need.

** Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holley GerthMeredith BernardKristin Hill Taylor, Kelly Balarie, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Featured Image Credit

20 thoughts on “We Are the Church

    1. I’m with you, Anita. Reaching out can be hard especially because we never know how we’ll be received. I thinks that’s why the “praying up” goes first. I always pray the Lord really highlights that women in need…even giving me confirmation that she needs that special word. Even just a “hi, you are welcome here” goes a long way. Thanks for visiting me…you are always welcome here! :) Blessings, friend!

  1. Love this post, we really are the church, so many think church is a building or a location, but really, it is in our hearts and our behaviour. We are the church, i love that!

    1. Thanks, Marisa. I think a lot of people run from what happens in those four walls and never go back. We need to be mindful of Gods grace and love and extend it to those in need wherever we might meet them…the church meeting the people! So glad you stopped by. God Bless!

  2. Thank you!! You echo so many of my thoughts exactly. SO glad to have found you at Meredith’s w2s link up. I long for the church, Christ’s bridge, to rise up and reflect Him more effectively. May we be reminded often and intentionally to pray for this.
    Anne @ Front Porch Inspired

    1. Amen, Anne…you are so right about the intentional prayer. So often we strive to run and do before we sit and pray. It is a powerful thing for us be His hands and feet to those crying out for His touch. Thank you so much for visiting me. Blessings!

  3. I like this call to step up. We are disconnected from fellow Christians and those in need. What you share resonates: “God can do incredible things with one willing heart committed to Him.”
    In my church community I have started a Faith and Truth for Moms group to encourage sharing, support, prayer, and spiritual growth. It’s through this connection and unity that we can grow and heal as wives and mothers.

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I love this and want to be this kind of woman too. Thanks for opening your heart and encouraging well. I’m so glad you’re faithful to be part of #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Thank YOU, Kristin, for you faithful encouragement. It’s a blessing to join hearts with so many women who desire to encourage and lift one another up. Here’s to being Spirit lead and having the eyes to see those around us who need not just our words, but our arms. Hugs!

  5. Oh Tiffany, I love this so much! Yes – we ARE the Church… let’s step up and step out and be open and willing to reach across the room and be an invitation! So much Amen! We are neighbors over at Woman2Woman today and I am so glad that I stopped by!

  6. Your neighbour from Purposeful Faith, wanting to leave you a comment but I am at a loss for words. All I can say is yes, yes, and yes to every word you wrote. May we be the women you described who is willing to link arms and share courage and love and words of blessing and affirmation. Thank you for sharing such beautiful truth today.

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