Views from the Pews: A spiritual hospital is open to all

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Last year, on reflection, was a really good and exciting year for us as a church.

Yes, we had some tough times, but we’ve held onto Jesus’ teaching at the heart of everything we do.

Personally, I’ve done a lot of networking over the past year, meeting church leaders, going to help train teams and the one thing I’m convinced about is Jesus is still the same today as He was in the Bible.

He’s going to be the same tomorrow and until the end.

I’m certain that the only way church will and should grow is through raising missional disciples that are loved and cared for.

Not through some program that gets people ‘into’ church, but by being relational and real.

I have absolutely no doubt that local church really is God’s chosen instrument to bring spiritual transformation to the nation.

How do we achieve this seemingly daunting task? Billy Connolly said “I love Jesus, I just don’t like the church” and more famously (although it grates on me now) Mahatma Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

The issue here is that the church is made up of all different people, with different ideas about how to do things.

People have this perception that the church and the people that go to it are in some way perfect or they think that they think they’re perfect. Church shouldn’t be a museum of impersonal traditions but a spiritual hospital where the broken can come and walk and live alongside others in the same way.

The leaders of churches shouldn’t be the doctors, but those who have the experience of being on the wards as a patient for a longer time.

When we think about multiplying communities, we don’t think ‘How many do we have?’ or ‘How many can we get in?’.

No, we look at where those people are that need healing, and where are those people that need to know they are loved.

We plant Jesus, not the church. When we do that, we leave it up to God to raise the church. He is Lord of all and only through Him will we see a culture be changed.

People give up on the church because of disappointment of the way they have experienced it in the past.

I’ve not come across anyone that dislikes Jesus yet. Not in a meaningful way, anyway.

Sermons are good, teaching is good, but loving the people is so much more powerful (Ephesians 2:19-22 - NIV).

If you want to be part of a spiritual hospital or want to know more about Jesus then please contact me at hopewhitby@hotmail.co.uk or visit www.hopewhitby.co.uk