What is a church?

There are many facets to that question.  There is the theological view of the bride of Christ.  There is the social view of the body of Christ.  There is the vocational view of the spiritual gifts.  This could go on.

I want to focus on a phrase I heard just recently. 

The church is a safe place to suffer.

Unfortunately for many years we have lived with the idea of the church being a safe place to pretend you weren’t suffering.  We all showed up trying to be perfect.  We seldom shared our problems or hurts.  And heaven forbid (quite literally) that sin would be found amongst us!

After years in the church (and as other older saints will testify), the best place to be is the church.  When the church recognizes that none of us are perfect.  Yes, we are all desirous of being holy, as God is holy.  But, we fall and fail.  Others trespass upon our fragile souls and crush us and cause us to lose faith.  We cannot see the future because we are presently overwhelmed.

The church then grabs a hold of us, and lifts us up – in word and in deed.  And encourages us to continue on. 

That is a safe place to suffer.  That is the church.