Church is like hospital – we attract and heal the unhealed

As I journey through my recovery I have noticed two kinds of church.

The first kind is where everyone dresses well and the choir (music team) is well trained. The minister is called a pastor even if they don’t have that gifting. Everyone stands and sits together. Kids are ushered out. Lights, camera, action! And when the event is over, it’s time to do it all again, because the church must grow.

The second kind doesn’t concern themselves about the niceties. Kids are there, or not. They make noises… simply because they make noises. People stand and sit as and when they need to. People feel safe enough to go get coffee or tea at any time. people sit up against walls or up the back if they want to hang back because they are having a lousy day or week.

When things are going well in your life this first kind of church is great to attend. But if you’re in a bad place, needing to find comfort or support… it’s not so great.

In my walk I’ve come to easily spot who will give support and accept some of my past and not judge me for it. I’ve also come to see how many people in the church will try and “expose” my sin or refuse to eat with me because I am a sinner (as Paul appears to condone)

But the thing is… people sin because they have needs (like emotional support and comfort and love) that are not being met. How will rejecting the person ever help to meet those needs and help the person to heal?

red-cross-flag.jpgThe church should be like a hospital.

It should be a safe haven for the hurting. A place of rest for the weary.

A time for recovery and strengthening. A place to form healthy monday-friday relationships, not just sunday relationships.

A place where the sick get healed.

If you run a church… is your church a healing church? Do you intentionally and actively embrace the natural and normal lives of people? Or do you expect them to conform to YOUR idea of normal church life.

If you attend a church… is your church embracing you? Is your church set up in such a way that you feel able to be yourself and share? Is your church helping you become a healed person?

This lack of love is the underlying reason why people are increasingly reconfiguring. They are meeting informally and are trying to form stronger bonds with others around them. Read some of the Barna research.

It’s pharasaical to imagine that anyone is without sin. It’s insensitive to not embrace and support one another as they are.

  • It is true that the way that people get hurt is from a lack of love (abuse, rejection, lack of care or nurture etc.)
  • It is also true that the way that people are restored… is through the restoration of love.
  • And the church is tasked with that job… of reaching out to the masses and restoring them, by being light, a source of love, fruit, water.
  • So what is your church doing to heal people? How loving is your church? How loving are your people encouraged to be?

In the video below, I have NO IDEA who this church is and I DON’T endorse them. But the message of rejection is all too familiar in my life and this video shows what it feels like when perfect people move away from an imperfect person.

Some more posts on this topic

7 responses to “Church is like hospital – we attract and heal the unhealed

  1. Greetings to the hospital in the Church
    I’m a Moroccan from the disease in the brain and Atovr money I want to help you
    Thank you very much

  2. hi again
    I saw a link to this post on Aridhis page.
    Thanks for your thoughts on this
    Youre right the church SHOULD be all these things.
    I didnt really understand the video. Is it meant to be chunky btw?
    Where is the good church you are talking about?
    For me nearly the only time is when meeting 1 or 2 or 3 other christians at a time. Maybe that is the informal meets you are talking about. and people will say ‘oh no we arn’t a church you can’t say we are your church we dont have this and that we dont provide all the functions of a church’…only they are more like the church you describe.
    At one service of a formal church the speaker said ‘turn to the person next to you. THAT is your church. and the other side’.I liked that.

    God is always good though


  3. Couple of Aussies and SAs in the group here. Not not myself. Ireland is changing by the minute. You have to come before all the old ways disappear forever. However, part of the change is a new openness to the gospel. Really exciting time to be in a new church plant. Tell us when you guys want a holiday. God bless. Stay fresh.

    Yeah we “seth effrikens” really get around. I will definitely come visit. God bless! Mark.

  4. Hey Mark
    Ever been to Ireland?

    Nup, not yet. Been to London, got married in Scotland, visited Wales. Ireland sounds really lovely from what I have heard. Have you been to Aussie or South Africa?

  5. Hi Mark,
    This is a great post. It’s giving me a lot to think about and it’s very encouraging for where I am at the moment. I can’t remember the last time I read your blog and went away without feeling connected to God in one post or another.
    <i>”But the thing is… people sin because they have needs (like emotional support and comfort and love) that are not being met. How will rejecting the person ever help to meet those needs and help the person to heal?”</i>
    Thanks for sharing his blessings.
    Aridhi (formerly R-E-D)

    Hi Aridhi. Yay, you’re back! I am so glad. You’re a fresh wind, an encouragement, you’re real and you’re honest. Just what we all need in our lives. Welcome back. – Mark.

  6. Hi Mark
    Thanks as always for your thoughts and honesty.
    We always try to make a distinction between “church as a business” and “church as a family” (Eph 3:15). The business focuses on results, streamlining its operations, maximising its efficiency, making profits… but the family measures its success by each member developing their own potential through growing in mutual love. People are always more important than projects, right?
    Great clip.

    Hiya. That sounds like a really good balance. Next time I’m visiting near you I’d like to come visit. 🙂 God bless you guys! Mark.

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