Back to BCC: Gutcheck Time
This is one of those posts that may make some folks angry, and I'm okay with that, because this is one of those "hills worth dying on" things for me. And if we're going to do this thing called Christian community, I'm of the conviction that we ought to do it correctly (which is to say, biblically).
Point blank: If you all you want out of a church is a spiritual pep talk every week, it's not a church that you want. I'm not sure what it is, but it's not a church.
The campus was packed this past weekend, which was a good thing. It was difficult to find a parking spot, which is a good thing. This influx and overflow of attendees obviously had something to do with the lead pastor candidate's visit. And that's a good thing too, I think.
But, look, let's be honest. If you've been withholding yourself from BCC until a "new guy" shows up, let me suggest, as respectfully as I can, that you need a spiritual gutcheck. While you've been absent, biding your time till we have a speaker for you to audition, the rest of us have been actually doing church. We've been rebuilding our spirits and the life of our church. We've been sharing our hearts and lives, and we've been growing together and toward God. We've been learning and growing under Bill West's shepherding and teaching. We've been sharing coffee and laughs. We've been caring for each other's children. We've been dining in each other's homes. We've been studying the Bible together and praying with and for each other. We've been showing up to help at the Nashville Rescue Mission. We've been showing up to help widows and divorcees with the burdens of real life. We've been comforting the suffering and the grieving.
And we've been able to do all that because we've stuck around. We've invested in our church and in each other. And while none of us deny the value of a quality voice on our weekend stage, we've decided church is not about speaking to a gathering but growing in a community.
We realize that it's not a great speaker that makes a church -- it's the community itself. And so the "voice" we are looking for is one that comes not just from a good preacher but a great pastor. "Pastor" means "shepherd." And looking for a shepherd presupposes a care and concern for a flock.
For those who have been holding back, waiting to see whether the show will go on, let me assure you that it will . . . and it won't. BCC will always value dynamic, engaging speaking and incredible, energetic music. But it now also values biblical, pastoral teaching and authentic, God-honoring worship. And we are growing from a collection of individuals who attend into a Body that grows. We desperately want you to be a part of this way God is redeeming us. But it might require relinquishing your self. (Just as Jesus said that to follow Him, one must "deny himself.")
BCC is a great church and a great many of us are enjoying it very much. I can't count how many people I've heard say that this is the happiest they've ever been at BCC. These are real people, by the way, people who grieved over the mess we went through, not people with axes to grind or bones to pick. What has surprised many of us is how close this thing has made us, how comforting the healing process has been, and what an incredible blessing it's been to refocus on what it really means to be a church. And how we've been able to do this under the assumption that we've been "going without."
But the truth is, we haven't been going without. We've had what every good church needs -- loving people and a faithful leadership. A new speaker would just be gravy. :-)