Have safe places, but don't play it safe... post 2
In my last post, I pointed out that there are two sides to safety in the Christian life: have safe places, but don't play it safe. The last post dealt with not playing it safe. God didn't call us to play it safe. He called us to be changed and to change the world.
What about having safe places? My friend Tim Morey (former workmate, pastor of Life Covenant Church in Torrance, and author of Embodying Our Faith) said this to his congregation: We want to be... "the kind of community where God's grace is on display, where a person can be real about their junk and not feel ostracized, where you can be imperfect and not try to hide it." I couldn't agree more! I want that for Sanctuary Church too.
Tim goes on to say, "Not that we don't fail one another on occasion -- as long as the church is full of people there will be mishandled feelings, dropped balls, inconsiderate words, bumps and bruises -- but I'm blessed by how often I hear the church referred to as safe. And this is one reason I'm stoked that the vast majority of us are in a small group. It's difficult to experience safety if you aren't living close to others."
Again, I give my hearty amens. It's interesting, though, to see the tension here. If we live in community, we will experience hurts inflicted by us on others and by others on us. Community is not safe in that way. But it is safe in a much deeper way. Those hurts happen because of the relational brokenness we all carry around, but the same hurts are only healed in community. It is in giving and receiving forgiveness, mercy, patience, and encouragement that we slowly overcome our brokenness. And I couldn't agree more with Tim that it best happens in the context of small groups. If you aren't in one, do yourself and your family members a favor and invest yourself (or yourselves) in that kind of community.